Karnataka

Priyank Kharge hits back after Kateel’s comment on Rahul Gandhi

KPCC spokesman Priyank Kharge addressing a press conference in Kalaburagi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: ARUN KULKARNI

Taking serious exception to Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel calling Congress leader Rahul Gandhi a “drug peddler”, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Priyank Kharge on Thursday said that Mr. Kateel must be suffering from “some kind of mental illness” and offered him free counselling from his party.

Addressing a media conference at the local Congress office here, Mr. Kharge also expressed suspecion that Mr. Kateel was “consuming drugs” to satisfy his frustration caused by the little or no importance being given to him in the media and in his party when compared to other leaders in the party such as Basanagouda Patil Yatnal.

“Mr. Kateel appears to be frustrated as he is ignored in the media and his party despite being the chief of the State unit of a national party. Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, and MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal have overshadowed him. Frustrated people can go to any extremes, including consuming alcohol and drugs. I hope Mr. Kateel is not consuming them. But the way he unleashes baseless and cheap personal attacks on Congress leaders sometimes makes me suspect him of doing so. If that is the case, the Congress is always ready to help him by offering free psychiatric counselling as he may not get it in his party. I request him to make use of the offer instead of taking this and that. For, we shouldn’t neglect mental disorders,” Mr. Kharge said.

Presenting substantial media reports and official information on the involvement of BJP associates in drug smuggling cases across the country and the admissions of government departments on the increase of drug smuggling and abuse in the recent past, Mr. Kharge claimed that smuggling and abuse of drugs had “phenomenally risen under BJP rule”. He challenged Mr. Kateel to question the people in power, such as Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, on why they had failed to control the drug menace, instead of questioning Mr. Gandhi, an MP.

Mr. Kharge also urged Mr. Kateel to give constructive criticisms on policies and ideologies instead of indulging in cheap personal attacks for publicity. “If Mr. Kateel continues to his personal attacks against Congress leaders, we too are ready to hit back at BJP leaders with similar attacks. BJP leaders will have to be ready to get the counter-attack,” he said.


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 2:54:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/priyank-kharge-hits-back-after-kateels-comment-on-rahul-gandhi/article37118007.ece

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