NEW DELHI: A week remaining to go for the first phase of Gujarat elections, the war of words between arch rivals Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) flared up on Sunday.
Hours after Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi tweeted his fifth question to PM Narendra Modi on Gujarat women, several BJP leaders came out to attack the Congress leader.
In a series of questions posed at PM Modi in the run-up to the assembly elections, Rahul questioned the PM over safety, education and health of women in the state. He tweeted:
22 सालों का हिसाब,#गुजरात_मांगे_जवाब
प्रधानमंत्रीजी- 5वाँ सवाल:
न सुरक्षा, न शिक्षा, न पोषण,
महिलाओं को मिला तो सिर्फ़ शोषण,
आंगनवाड़ी वर्कर और आशा,
सबको दी बस निराशा।
गुजरात की बहनों से किया सिर्फ़ वादा,
पूरा करने का कभी नहीं था इरादा। pic.twitter.com/yXvCRbxsXW
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) December 3, 2017
Reacting to this, Parliamentary Affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi took a dig at Rahul's Italian heritage.
He said, “Jinhe baigan aur burger ka fark nahi pata, pyaz aur pizza ka fark nahi pata vo sawaal kar rahe hain. Pehle vo desh ki siyasat aur sankstriti ki ABCD batayen,jis din unhe pata chala us din sab jawab khud mil jayenge (The person who doesn't know the difference between brinjal and burger or onion and pizza, is not posing questions. The day he understands the ABCD (basics) of the country's political and cultural heritage, he'll figure out all the answers on his own).”
Rahul's mother – Congress president Sonia Gandhi – is born Italian but took up Indian citizenship after her marriage to Rajiv Gandhi – the former Prime Minister of India who was assassinated in 1991.
“As the election nears, it is increasingly becoming a contest between development, political stability on one hand and an opportunist alliance, anarchy on the other. BJP's track record of 22 years is of providing excellent governance,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also took a jibe at Rahul, saying “Rahul kehte hain vikas pagal ho gaya hai. Mujhe unke dimag par taras aata hai. Vikas kabhi dhima ho sakta hai, kabhi tez ho sakta hai, kabhi ruk sakta hai, par vikas pagal bhi kabhi hota hai? (Rahul says development has gone mad. I feel sorry for his state of mind. Can development can be fast or slow or stop, but can it ever go mad?)”
Jitendra Singh, Minister of State, Prime Minister Office, also took a jibe at Rahul:
“Its high time he gets his script writer changed. This college level poetry type statements don't deserve a response.”
The first phase of Gujarat elections are scheduled to be held on December 9, the second phase on December 14. The counting will be held on December 18.