Didn’t call Lalu, Mulayam dogs: Gadkari

BJP prez Nitin Gadkari has retracted from his ‘dogs’ remark on Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad.

Last Updated: May 13, 2010, 10:48 AM IST

Chandigarh: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari Wednesday said Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad were like "dogs who lick the feet of the Congress" but later took back his words saying he didn`t mean to be offensive.

In a rally here, Gadkari accused Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad of betraying the opposition on the recent cut motions in Parliament and said: "Bade dakarte the sher jaise, aur kutte ke jaise ban kar Sonia-ji aur Congress ke ghar par talve chatne lage` (these leaders were roaring like lions but later bowed like dogs to lick the feet of Sonia and the Congress)."

Gadkari`s remark led to a sharp political reaction from the Samajwadi Party and the RJD leaders who accused him of using foul and unparliamentary language.

"I was just using a phrase in the speech to make a point. I take my words back if this has hurt anyone. I have not called them dogs personally. It was only a phrase. It should not be misunderstood. I was talking of their role," Gadkari told a news agency immediately after the remarks.

The BJP president, addressing his maiden rally in this city, said the two leaders and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) deserted the opposition on the cut motions in Parliament.

"In front of the TV, Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad stood with Sushma Swaraj (leader of opposition). All these parties stood with us but turned away later," Gadkari said.

"What happened during the cut motion? The BSP went and sat in the lap of the Congress," he said.

"Someone asked me later which party is with the Congress? I said that only one party was with the Congress - the Congress Bureau of Investigation," Gadkari said taking a swipe at the Congress for allegedly using the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against political leaders.

"Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad bowed before the CBI. In their inquiry, somewhere the lawyer was changed while somewhere the affidavit was changed," the BJP president claimed.

Earlier, Gadkari chided the Congress Party for promoting dynasty politics.

The BJP president said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee cannot even think of ever becoming their party`s chief.

Referring to his elevation from a poster-pasting ordinary worker to the BJP president, Gadkari said the Congress culture was only to depend on the Nehru-Gandhi clan for leadership.

"Can Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee and other senior Congress leaders even ever think of becoming the Congress president?" Gadkari asked.

"From (Jawaharlal) Nehru to Indira Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi to Sonia Gandhi now and in future Rahul Gandhi, the leadership issue is quite decided in the Congress," he said.

Gadkari said as an ordinary party worker, he had pasted BJP posters and painted walls.

"I have been going around places with electricity linesmen to put up BJP posters. The BJP is a party of the workers. You can become an ex-MP from MP, ex-minister from minister and ex-MLA from MLA, but you can never be an ex-worker. The BJP knows the worth of its workers," he said.

Condemning the policies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Gadkari said the government has failed to fulfil its promise of controlling prices within 100 days of coming to power June last year.

"Instead of the slogan `garibi hatao` (eliminate poverty), the Congress government is out to eliminate the poor," he said.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that India is moving towards double-digit GDP growth but in reality we are going towards double-digit growth in inflation. Our neighbouring country China is maintaining its inflation at below two percent but here it is over 11 percent," Gadkari said.

He added: "Poverty and poor plight of crores of people is the direct result of wrong economic policies and bad governance of the present government. These policies have ruined the whole country."