Rahul Gandhi hits back at PM Modi for 'Corrupt no.1' jibe at Rajiv Gandhi

"Modi Ji, the battle is over. Your Karma awaits you," said Congress president Rahul Gandhi, after PM Modi said former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was 'Bhrashtachari No. 1'

Updated - May 05, 2019 11:30 pm IST

Published - May 05, 2019 01:58 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. File

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. File

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday offered love and hugs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who called his father Rajiv Gandhi ‘Bhrashtachari No 1’, or corrupt No 1, at a rally on Saturday. 

Writing on Twitter, Mr. Gandhi said: “Modi Ji, the battle is over. Your Karma awaits you. Projecting your inner beliefs about yourself onto my father won’t protect you. All my love and a huge hug. Rahul.” 

The war of words came a day before the voting for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election, including in Amethi, where Mr. Gandhi is in fray.

Swipe at Rajiv

Speaking at a rally in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Modi took a swipe Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister, calling him ‘Bhrashtachari No 1’. 

He had referred to Mr. Gandhi’s incessant attacks on him over the alleged corruption in the Rafale deal and said his aim was to tarnish his image. “Your father was called ‘Mr. Clean’ by his courtiers, but his life ended as Bhrashtachari No 1,” Mr. Modi had said. 

The Prime Minister was referring to the Bofors scandal during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure. There were allegations that Swedish defence company Bofors paid huge kickbacks to Rajiv Gandhi and others for the sale of its artillery guns to the Indian Army. 

Priyanka’s take

 Mr. Gandhi’s sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, too, spoke out against him. “The one who asks for votes in the name of martyrs has now insulted the martyrdom of a righteous and holy man in his unbridled craze yesterday. Reply will be given by the people of Amethi for whom Rajiv Gandhi gave his life. Yes Modiji this country never forgives treachery,” she wrote on Twitter.

Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram criticised Mr. Modi for his comments. “Mr. Modi has crossed all limits of propriety and decency by defaming a man [Rajiv Gandhi] who died in 1991,” he wrote on Twitter. He pointed out that the charge against Rajiv Gandhi was dropped by the Delhi High Court.

Importantly, Mr. Chidambaram said, the BJP government decided not to appeal in the Supreme Court against the judgment. 

Mr. Gandhi also got the support of some Opposition parties. People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti wrote on Twitter: “Rajiv Gandhi lost his life serving our country. He was a true patriot who certainly doesn’t need a certificate from those who lynch in the name of religion. Malicious attempts to malign a person who’s passed away shows the political discourse has reached its nadir.”

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, who was close to Rajiv Gandhi, criticised Mr. Modi for his comments. “The comments made by ‘Expiry PM’ Modi Ji against former PM Rajiv Gandhi Ji are very unfortunate. Rajiv Ji dedicated himself [to] and laid down his life for the motherland. I condemn the language used & the audacity of such a statement,” she wrote on Twitter. 


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