New Delhi: The BJP and Congress traded barbs over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks in the US, where he made an oblique reference to the unproven corruption taint on Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law.
Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu sought to know why the party was getting unnecessarily perturbed since Modi did not mention anyone’s name in his address.
“The Prime Minister has not taken name of any party or person. Then why should Congress get disturbed? We are not able to understand. The Prime Minister, during his visits, has been explaining the situation, developments in India to the Indian diaspora. Nobody should have any objection over that,” he told reporters in Hyderabad.
Taking a swipe at the Congress President’s son-in-law, Robert Vadra, the Prime Minister said there were allegations of politicians and their families making crores of rupees while his government has no graft charge.
“In our country it doesn’t take much for allegations to come up against politicians … Someone made 50 crores, someone’s son made 250 crores, daughter made 500 crores, damaad (son-in-law) made 1,000 crores,” Modi said addressing the Indian community at the SAP Centre in San Jose, California.
The Congress hit out at Modi, saying it was ashamed of his behaviour on foreign soil.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said Modi has insulted the nation by calling leaders before him corrupt. “Prime Minister Modi should explain after returning, as to why he has insulted the former leaders of our nation post-Independence, calling them corrupt,” he said at a press conference.
Sharma also alleged that the Prime Minister is misusing public office for his official state visits.
“He is misusing his official visits and we demand an independent inquiry on the hundreds and millions of dollars, which has been spent in the organisation of such events. Thousands of people from this country, including RSS workers, have been sent for months in advance to prepare. I have said earlier, that 4,300 of their workers are in the US since July.”
Reacting to Modi’s breaking down emotionally while talking about his mother with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in California, All India Mahila Congress president Shobha Oza said the Prime Minister was a big drama king.
“On the one hand, he doesn’t bother to meet his mother more than once a year, his wife has to make use of the RTI to know her own rights. A person who doesn’t give his wife her rights, and who doesn’t keeps his own mother in the PM’s residence speaks and sheds crocodile tears while remembering his mother, clearly shows how big a drama king he is,” Oza said.
Party colleague Sharma agreed. “The Prime Minister says his mother used to clean utensils in other people’s homes. Sadly, this is a lie, He is insulting his mother,” he said.
BJP leader MJ Akbar countered the Congress, saying the Opposition party has become the voice of untruth, malice and utter frustration. “The PM is devoted to his mother … he touched her feet after the election victory (in 2014). This is in contrast to Congress where a mother has ruined party.”
With agency inputs