After former Union minister CP Joshi, it is Uttar Pradesh Congress' chief Raj Babbar who launched a scathing personal attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.
In a statement that is likely to blow up a political storm, Babbar has reportedly called the prime minister manhoos (ominous) over the rising fuel prices.
The Congress leader did not stop there. He launched a personal attack against Modi by comparing the devalued rate of the Indian rupee to the prime minister’s nonagenarian mother.
"He (Modi) used to say that the Indian rupee has fallen so much against the dollar that it was nearing the age of the then prime minister (Manmohan Singh). Today, the rupee’s valuation has dropped so low, that it is inching closer to your beloved mother’s age," Babbar, who was campaigning in Madhya Pradesh, said.
BJP leader Anila Singh reacted to these comments strongly and said that the Congress was steadily decreasing its level of politics. "Congress has become a party of loonies, I can see that. We are all in the electoral fray to compete against each other. But at least spare the family members. Narendra Modi ji ki mata ji to rajneeti me nahi hain (the prime minister's mother is not in politics)," she told CNN-News18.
Meanwhile, Congress' Akhilesh Pratap Singh defended Babbar's comment with the argument that even Modi hits out at the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in his speeches frequently. Defending the usage of the word manhoos, Singh said that the prime minister had himself thanked his good fortune for reducing crude oil prices towards the beginning of his term. He argued that then what was the harm in calling him inauspicious when now the prices were skyrocketing.
At an election rally in New Delhi in February 2015, Modi had said, "Ok, let's accept that I am lucky but you have saved money. If Modi's luck is benefitting the people, what can be more fortunate? If due to my good luck, prices of petrol and diesel come down and common man saves more, then what is the need to bring someone who is unlucky?"
Earlier on Thursday, Joshi launched a casteist attack on the prime minister claiming that only Pandits, intellectuals and Brahmins are qualified to speak on Hinduism. Joshi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Uma Bharti and questioned their authority over the subject. "If anyone is qualified to speak on religion it is the Pandits, the intellectuals and the Brahmins. There is a weird trend in the country where people from different castes are speaking on Hinduism. Uma Bharti, who belongs to the Lodhi samaj, is talking about Hindu religion. Sadhvi ji also belongs to a different religion and is talking about Hindu religion. Narendra Modi too belongs to some other religion and talks about Hinduism. In the last 50 years, Brahmins have lost their mind," said Joshi.
Joshi's comment comes soon after he claimed that only a Congress prime minister would be able to build the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
In fact, Babbar also reiterated Joshi's stand on Ram Temple, claiming that his party was never opposed to the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya and he now felt that even the Muslim community wanted it. He, however, added that the construction should wait as the case is still pending in the Supreme Court.
These statement seem to be an about-turn from the party's carefully held position—at least in recent times—that it would welcomes the Supreme Court's verdict on the issue. At least a decade ago, the Congress sang a different tune during a controversy over the Sethusamudram project, when it told the Supreme Court Valmiki's tale lacked 'historical veracity'and that there was no historical evidence to establish the existence of Lord Rama or the other characters in Ramayana.
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Updated Date: Nov 23, 2018 12:27:17 IST