at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 29 triggered a slugfest with the BJP slamming it as an insult to every Gujarati and the Opposition party calling the attack on its leader “anti-Dalit tirade”.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra asked voters in Gujarat to do “100% voting for the son of the soil” Mr. Modi to take “revenge” in a democratic manner for the “insult”, as he invoked various objectionable remarks made by Congress members over the years against the Prime Minister.
Taking a swipe at Mr. Modi at a rally in the Behrampura area of Ahmedabad city on Monday, Mr. Kharge on Monday night said the Prime Minister asks people to vote “looking at his face” in all elections. “Are you 100-headed like Ravan,” he had said.
Taking a strong exception to the remarks, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel in a tweet said, “Bereft of any development agenda and support from the people, the Congress is out to abuse Gujarat and Gujaratis.”
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“The statement made by Kharge ji against PM Narendra Modi ji is a testimony to their hate for Gujaratis. The people of Gujarat will reject them this time too for such behaviour,” Mr. Patel added.
The BJP’s IT department head, Amit Malviya, said in a tweet, “Unable to take the heat of Gujarat election, pushed to the fringe, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge loses control over his words, calls Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘ Ravan‘. From ‘ Maut ka Saudagar‘ to ‘ Ravan‘, Congress continues to insult Gujarat and it’s son.”
Slamming Mr. Malviya, Congress’ media department head Pawan Khera asked “why can’t you digest the fact that a Dalit who has worked his way up is the elected president of the Congress”.
“Calling him fringe shows what you and your party thinks of Dalits,” Mr. Khera said.
Hitting back at Mr. Malviya, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, “You have the audacity to call a man who comes from the most deprived background, who has won elections for the last 55 years — fringe? We are proud of @kharge Ji as Cong Prez, it’s time you stop your anti-Dalit tirade.”
“You and your fake news peddling brigade is the fringe,” she said.
At a press conference, Mr. Patra alleged Mr. Kharge was voicing the views of former Congress presidents Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. Personal attacks on Mr. Modi started with Sonia Gandhi’s ” maut ka saudagar” (merchant of death) remarks during the 2007, he said.
“What Mr. Kharge said is condemnable and shows the mindset of the Congress. This is not merely an insult of Mr. Modi but of every Gujarati,” he said.
The Congress has denigrated the post of prime minister, he added, holding that Mr. Modi is now recognised as a global leader by countries around the world.
Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry had recently said Mr. Modi will be shown his ” aukat“, Mr. Patra noted.