BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal reportedly described former Congress president and MP Sonia Gandhi as a visha kanya (venomous woman) in a bid to counter All India Congress Committee president Mallikarjun Kharge’s ‘poisonous snake’ remark allegedly about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mr Yatnal is the BJP candidate for the Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections from Vijayapura, and is in the list of star campaigners of the party.
Addressing a campaign rally at Yelburga in Koppal district on April 28, My Yatnal said, “Mallikarjun Kharge called Narendra Modi a cobra… He is a senior man and I have respect for him. How should he, president of the Indian National Congress, address the Prime Minister of India? Our Prime Minister is respected by the entire world. America, which had once denied visa to Mr. Modi, offers a red carpet welcome to Mr. Modi. You [Mr. Kharge] call him cobra. Is Sonia Gandhi, who you heavily depended on, a visha kanya [poisonous maiden]? Sonia Gandhi spoiled the country, and worked as an agent of China and Pakistan. [Congress leader] Mani Shankar Aiyar sought help from Pakistan and China to bring Modi government down. They insulted Mr. Modi by stating that a tea seller becomes the Prime Minister. As a result, Congress has been washed away in such a way that it became ineligible get the post of Leader of Opposition [in Lok Sabha].”.
Mr. Yatnal added that Mr. Kharge, with his remarks, insulted the Prime Minister and called upon BJP workers not to take it lightly.
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On April 28, KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar hit out at the BJP for Mr Yatnal’s remark about Sonia Gandhi and demanded an apology from Mr Modi and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for allegedly ‘insulting Sonia Gandhi’.
He urged BJP president J.P. Nadda to expel Mr Yatnal from the BJP.
On April 27, Congress star campaigner and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said Mr Modi is ‘like a poisonous snake. Don’t try to lick this snake to check whether it is venomous or not. If you taste it, you are dead’.
The remark triggered sharp reactions from the BJP. Later, Mr Kharge clarified that his remark was against the BJP ideology, and not a personal attack on any individual.