Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘corrupt number 1’ remark, the Congress blamed the Election Commission for failing to act against repeated slandering, News18 reported.
Congress moved the EC over Modi’s remark at election campaigns in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh and Basti on Saturday, where the prime minister called Rajiv Gandhi ‘bhrashtachaari number 1’, referring to the Bofors case. "Your father was termed 'Mr Clean' by his courtiers, but his life ended as 'Bhrashtachari No 1'. By hurling abuses, you cannot turn the 50 long years of Modi's tapasya (struggle) into dust," Modi said.
"By tarnishing my image and by making me look small, these people want to form an unstable and a weak government in the country," he further said.
The party further said that Modi’s remarks are a result of frustration and fear of losing the Lok Sabha polls. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also wrote on Twitter on Sunday that the ‘battle is over’ for the Prime Minister.
The battle is over. Your Karma awaits you. Projecting your inner beliefs about yourself onto my father won’t protect you.
All my love and a huge hug.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 5, 2019
Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East Priyanka Gandhi also responded to Modi’s remarks. "The prime minister, who politicises and insults the martyrdom of brave personnel has, in an unbridled craze, also insulted a humble and pure man's martyrdom. The people of Amethi, for whom Rajiv Gandhi lost his life, will reply. Yes, Modiji, this country will never forgive betrayal," she tweeted.
शहीदों के नाम पर वोट माँगकर उनकी शहादत को अपमानित करने वाले प्रधानमंत्री ने कल अपनी बेलगाम सनक में एक नेक और पाक इंसान की शहादत का निरादर किया। जवाब अमेठी की जनता देगी जिनके लिए राजीव गांधी ने अपनी जान दी। हाँ मोदीजी ‘यह देश धोकेबाज़ी को कभी माफ नहीं करता’। — Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) May 5, 2019
Among others to respond were Congress leaders P Chidambaram, Ahmed Patel and Sam Pitroda.
'De mortuis nihil nisi bonum'. Of the dead, speaking nothing but the good.
Has the PM heard of this ancient wisdom?
Does any religion allow anyone to speak ill of the dead?
The PM's remarks on former PM Rajiv Gandhi show the extent of his desperation and fear of defeat.
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 5, 2019
India will not forgive such people who have insulted, hurt and abused our martyrs History is going to record the name of this pseudo nationalist in black ink for all his sins against the nation — Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) May 5, 2019
Meanwhile, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar defended Modi in a press conference in Delhi on Sunday, calling the Congress party ‘dynasts’. "Yesterday, the prime minister told the truth about Gandhi family, especially about Rajiv Gandhi, now the brother-sister have started hurling new abuses. Whatever the prime minister said is true," Javadekar said.
At these rallies, Modi also said that the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, which are contesting the Lok Sabha polls in alliance in Uttar Pradesh, will be at each other’s throats when results are declared on 23 May.
Modi’s remark referred to the Bofors scam, which was first reported during Rajiv Gnadhi’s tenure as prime minister. There were allegations that Swedish defence manufacturer Bofors had paid kickbacks to Rajiv Gandhi and others for the sale of its weapons to India.
The war of words between Rahul Gandhi and Modi comes only a day before the fifth phase of Lok Sabha polls, in which Congress’ bastion Amethi will also vote.
- With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: May 05, 2019 16:42:13 IST