Modi’s comment lacked “decorum, decency and dignity” expected from his office, says Chandrababu Naido.
NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a rally in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh, took a swipe at Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s father and former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi, calling him Bhrashtachari No:1 (Corrupt No:1).
PM Modi was reacting to the Congress chief’s incessant attacks on him regarding allegations of corruption in the Rafale jet deal. Mr. Modi said that Mr. Gandhi’s only aim was to tarnish his image.
“Your father was termed ‘Mr. Clean’ by his courtiers, but his life ended as ‘Bhrashtachari No:1’,” PM Modi said.
He was referring to the Bofors scandal that broke during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure. There were allegations that Swedish defence manufacturer Bofors had paid huge kickbacks to Rajiv Gandhi and others for the sale of its artillery gun to India.
Your Karma awaits you: Rahul
Taking to Twitter, Congress president and Rajiv Gandhi’s son Rahul Gandhi said, “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. Rahul. “
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
The war of words between Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Modi came a day before voting for fifth phase of polls takes place on Monday, with Mr. Gandhi’s own constituency, Amethi, going to polls as well.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted in Hindi saying, “The Prime Minister, who is seeking votes in the name of martyrs, yesterday disrespected the martyrdom of a nobleman. People in Amethi will give a befitting reply… Rajiv Gandhi gave his life for the people of Amethi. Yes Modi ji, this nation never forgives deception.”
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
The party’s core committee member and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram also hit back at the PM in a series of messages on Twitter.
“Mr. Modi has crossed all limits of propriety and decency by defaming a man (Rajiv Gandhi) who died in 1991,” Mr. Chidambaram wrote. He added that the charges against Rajiv Gandhi were dropped by the Delhi High Court.
‘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
Mr. Chidambaram wrote: “Does Mr Modi read anything at all? Does he know that the charge against Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was thrown out by the High Court, Delhi as ‘completely baseless?’”
Does Mr Modi know that a BJP government decided not to file an appeal to the SC against the HC judgment?
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 5, 2019
He also pointed out that it was a BJP government that decided not to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the said HC judgment.
Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav said “whatever political disagreements people might have, those martyred deserved the people’s respect and their families deserves empathy.”
“Election or not, this is basic humanity,” Yadav wrote on Twitter.
Whatever political disagreements people may have, those who are martyred deserve our respect and their families deserves our empathy. Election or not, this is basic humanity.
The statement by the PM indicates levels to which people can stoop for the sake of clinging on to power.
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) May 5, 2019
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said that PM Modi’s comment lacked “decorum, decency and dignity” expected from his office.
Decorum, decency and dignity are expected from those holding highest public offices like that of Prime Minister. The comments made by Mr. @narendramodi on the former PM Late Sri Rajiv Gandhi, who is no more with us are highly condemnable and reflect the meanness of the PM.
— N Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) May 5, 2019
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the prime minister’s statement, asserting that Rajiv Gandhi dedicated himself for the motherland.
Sorry for my delayed response on this. I was campaigning. The comments made by ‘Expiry PM’ ModiJi against fmr PM Rajiv GandhiJi are very unfortunate. RajivJi dedicated himself & laid down his life for the motherland. I condemn the language used & the audacity of such a statement
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 5, 2019
Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the PM’s comment on Rajiv Gandh:
#RajivGandhi lost his life serving our country. He was a true patriot who certainly doesn’t need a certificate from those who lynch in the name of religion. Malicious attempts to malign a person who’s passed away shows political discourse has reached its nadir.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) May 5, 2019