Metaphors on cohesion and unity are beyond the comprehension of self-appointed jingoists: Manish Tewari

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday crossed swords over Narendra Modi’s attack on Rahul Gandhi’s ‘beehive’ remark, with three Congress leaders saying the party did not need lessons on patriotism and that Delhi was still far-off for the Gujarat Chief Minister.

In a sharp attack on Mr. Modi, Minister Manish Tewari asserted that metaphors on cohesion and unity were beyond the comprehension of “self-appointed jingoists,” while his colleague Kapil Sibal said the BJP leader should not be in a hurry to come to the national capital, saying “Dilli dur ast [Delhi is still far off].”

Another Union Minister, Rajiv Shukla, said the Congress did not need lessons from patriotism from the BJP, as none of its leaders “had fought for the freedom of the country.” Mr. Modi, he said, was giving lessons to someone whose father and grandmother had died for the country.

Hitting back at the Congress, BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj said the Congress vice-president’s comparison of the country to a beehive was correct if assessed from the ruling party’s point of view.

“The comparison made to a beehive is correct according to the Congress. What is there in a beehive? There is a queen bee, and all the other bees toil and gather honey, the taste of which is taken by the others and the queen bee does not do any work,” Mr. Punj said adding “What, or who, is the queen bee here? But the ordinary bees here are the country’s common people for sure.”

Without naming Mr. Gandhi, Mr. Modi on Saturday said he was “deeply shocked and very pained” to hear a Congress leader describe the country as a beehive. “Is this the way the Congress thinks? I want to tell my Congress friends that they may think of this nation as a beehive, but for us this nation is a mother.”