Addressing a rally in Jharkhand’s Chaibasa on Monday, prime minister Narendra Modi threw a challenge at the Congress, asking it to contest the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha election in the name of Rajiv Gandhi, who he recently dubbed as “corrupt no. 1”.
“A few days ago, I called a member of the naamdar parivar (dynasty) bhrashtachari (corrupt) no. 1, and some people got such a severe stomach ache that they started crying aloud. The more they cry, the more will today’s generation come to know of the old truths,” he said.
“How a family looted the country in the 20th century, destroyed it — the youth of the country should know. I am challenging the Congressman’s from that when polling takes place in the remaining phases in Punjab, Delhi and Bhopal, let it fight the elections in the name of Rajiv Gandhi; try seeking votes in Rajiv Gandhi’s name who is accused of corruption in the Bofors case. I am hopeful that the Congress will accept this challenge.”
Mr. Modi, without directly naming anyone, said, “A member of the naamdar parivar is abusing the Prime Minister for the last one year, without caring for the dignity (of the chair)… You do not have respect for the PM’s post.”
Rahul Gandhi on Sunday, in response to the PM’s statement about his father, had tweeted, “Modi Ji, 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.”
“PM has been talking about my father since yesterday. Let him whatever he wants to about me, my mother, my father and my grandmother. I will respond to your (PM’s) hate with love. I had hugged you with love in Parliament too. And this love will make you lose on May 23,” Gandhi had said.
Modi’s remarks drew widespread condemnation from Congress and other opposition leaders.