Two Bihar BJP leaders on Wednesday filed separate cases against Priyanka Vadra for her neech rajniti (low-level politics) barb at Narendra Modi even as Rahul Gandhi countered the saffron offensive over the remark, saying people’s actions are low, not their caste.
The controversy over the remark also refused to die down with BJP and Congress sniping at each other.
BJP Bihar unit’s General Secretary Surajnandan Mehta filed a case in the court of Patna Chief Judicial Magistrate Rama Kant Yadav alleging that the remarks would promote enmity between groups and lead to breach of peace.
The case was filed under IPC sections 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups), 153(B) (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 171 (G) (false statement in connection with an election), 500 (defamation) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of IPC.
The head of state BJP fishermen community cell Arjun Sahni filed a case in the court of Darbhanga Chief Judicial Magistrate Shailendra Pandey against Ms. Vadra levelling similar charges.
Mr. Gandhi, who was in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday on the day of polling in the parliamentary constituency, came to the defence of his sister and lashed out at Mr. Modi for dubbing his sister’s remark as an attack on his caste.
“Jaati nahi, karm neech hote hain (It is not caste but ones action that are low),” he said when asked by reporters in Amethi about the controversy.
“Neech soch hoti hai, gusse ki soch hoti hai, Krodh ki soch hoti hai. (It is ideology which is low. There is an ideology of anger),” Mr. Gandhi said, adding his focus was that more and more people vote and women get empowered.
Taking a dig at Congress, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman asked Mr. Gandhi whether “Gujarat’s growth and development model was low thinking.”
“So much discussion on neech (low). So much energy was spent on neech (low) comment. What actually was neech supposed to mean. We just do not understand what is this neech soch (low thinking) explanation that is coming out now,” she added.
Congress lambasted Mr. Modi over his attempts for “opportunistic exploitation” of Ms. Vadra’s remarks and claimed that he tells the electorate to vote their caste when the Congress tells them to cast their vote.
Congress spokesperson Shashi Tharoor maintained that Ms. Vadra has not made any reference to caste or the origins of Modi and was talking about “debased level of political discourse of the BJP.”
He also condemned the attempt to “exploit” the phrase and attach to it the idea of jaati (caste) by Mr. Modi in his speeches.