Congress, BJP spar over PM Modi barbs at Congress, Robert Vadra

Congress and BJP clashed over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in the US with the opposition party accusing him of dragging the political narrative to the "gutter level" by trading barbs at it and Robert Vadra, and the ruling party retorting by targeting Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

PTI| Updated: Sep 28, 2015, 19:39 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress and BJP clashed over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in the US with the opposition party accusing him of dragging the political narrative to the "gutter level" by trading barbs at it and Robert Vadra, and the ruling party retorting by targeting Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

In a no-holds-barred attack, Congress said Modi needs "very serious counselling".

Congress senior spokesman Anand Sharma also sought an independent inquiry into organisation of public events for the PM during his foreign tours and the source of "millions of dollars" required for hosting them.

Hitting back, BJP said Congress has become the voice of "untruth, malice and utter frustration" and wondered if it had become "trapped in an inept leadership".

In his speech in San Jose, Modi made a veiled attack on UPA regime on corruption and took a swipe at Vadra, the Congress President's son-in-law, saying 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, (someone's) daughter made 500 crores, (someone's) damaad (son-in-law) made 1000 crores," Modi said.

Referring to Modi getting emotional and breaking down while talking about his mother, the Congress spokesman said, "true to his characteristic style, the PM once again engaged in theatrics, emotion and drama, making boastful claims".

Sharma raised questions about Modi's statements that he sold tea as a child and that his mother became an housemaid to look after him. These claims about himself were "not correct", Sharma said, adding in his childhood Modi used to manage the counter in his uncle's canteen.

If Modi considered himself a powerful leader, then why has he not ensured that his mother stayed with him.

"Is it not the duty of a son to look after the well-being of his mother," he said recalling that Modi was chief minister of Gujarat for 12 years and said then and even now he has not brought her to his home.

He did not also honour her by bringing her to his swearing-in ceremony as PM in New Delhi last year, Sharma added. "So, stop crying outside. Do your duty as a son and bring her to your house".

"The Prime Minister is misusing his official visits abroad and we demand an independent inquiry (into the rallies)...With 100s of millions of dollars spent in their organisation with activists of the RSS and others going months ahead for preparations", he said.

BJP drew a contrast between Modi's "devotion" to his mother and Sonia Gandhi "ruining" Congress with her "devotion to her inept son" as it described as "appalling and pathetic" its dig at Modi over his turning emotional while mentioning his mother.

"It was perhaps both significant and revealing that Congress chose to get personal in an extremely appalling and pathetic manner by commenting on the moving moment when the Prime Minister recalled what his mother had done. He is devoted to his mother. He touched her feet after election victory.

"This is quite in contrast to Congress where a mother has ruined the party and is trying to ruin the nation by her utter devotion to her completely inept son. It is this doting behaviour that has made Rahul Gandhi the spoilt child of the Indian politics," BJP spokesperson M J Akbar told reporters.

BJP also continued to target the Congress vice president over his trip to the US even as he tweeted photograph of him attending a conference in Aspen.

"Instead of hiding underground somewhere in the US and posting highly nebulous picture of some alleged conference, it might have been a better idea for him to come out and explain what he was doing except of course if he is enjoying some undeserved vacation," Akbar said.