Modi surname remark | Rahul Gandhi has ‘pathetic and casteist mindset’, says BJP chief J.P. Nadda

Nadda’s statement, made over Twitter, has made it clear that the BJP has decided to launch an all out attack on Rahul Gandhi, with no quarters given, and to also connect the surname slur to a larger OBC community

Updated - March 24, 2023 06:27 pm IST

Published - March 24, 2023 09:59 am IST - NEW DELHI

BJP president JP Nadda in New Delhi. File photo

BJP president JP Nadda in New Delhi. File photo | Photo Credit: ANI

A day after a court in Surat convicted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a case of criminal defamation, BJP president J.P. Nadda on Friday, March 24, 2023, launched a strong attack on him, stating that Mr. Gandhi, by his remarks had shown a “pathetic and casteist mindset.”

Mr. Gandhi was convicted after he was sued by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi over his statement, “how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname” and was sentenced to two years in jail (the sentence has been suspended for 30 days).

Also read: Does Rahul Gandhi stand disqualified as an MP following his conviction?

Mr. Nadda’s statement, made over Twitter, has made it clear that the BJP has decided to launch an all out attack on Mr Gandhi, with no quarters given, and to also connect the surname slur to a larger OBC community. In fact, on Thursday evening, functionaries of the All India Teli Mahasangh, many of whom carry the “Modi” surname, said in a statement that Mr. Gandhi owed an apology to the community and that he had “started abusing people” after losing polls.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Nadda, who had remained out of the fray on Thursday, said, “by comparing OBC communities to thieves, Mr. Rahul Gandhi has shown a pathetic and casteist mindset , however his latest tirade is not surprising. For the last many years he has reduced the level of political discourse.”

Also read: Will fight the battle legally and politically, says Congress

“Lies, personal slander and negative politics is integral to Mr. Rahul Gandhi,” said Mr. Nadda, going back to the 2019 polls and the campaign launched by the Congress on the Rafael deal. “In the run up to the 2019 polls Rahul Gandhi kept repeating Chowkidar chor hai (the guard is the thief) , notwithstanding the harm he was doing to the political discourse. He went on ranting against Prime Minister Modi, even if it meant he was defeated in his own seat and his party wiped out nationally,” tweeted Mr Nadda. “So much for Chowkidar Chor Hai that neither Congress leaders nor Congress allies appreciated this deep slander against Prime Minister Modi. In fact, this issue was also taken up in Congress Working Committee (CWC), where senior Congress leaders even supposedly expressed their unhappiness over it,” he added.

“Now, Mr Gandhi calls the entire OBC community thieves, he gets flak in the Courts but refuses to apologise thus showing how deep rooted his hatred for OBCs is. The people of India did not forgive him in 2019, in 20124 the punishment will be more severe,” he said.

Is Rahul above law of the land,? asks Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav

In a separate development, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav too hit out at the Congress for raising questions on a Gujarat court convicting Rahul Gandhi in a criminal defamation case, and asked if they consider themselves above the law of the land.

Mr. Yadav, a prominent OBC leader, noted that the court convicted Gandhi following due process of law.

“Are Congress party and Rahul Gandhi higher than the law of the country?...Is it a national leader’s job to abuse and insult a surname of the OBC society?” the senior BJP leader asked at a press conference “I believe Congress party and Rahul Gandhi are guilty of hurling abuse at the entire OBC community in the country,” he said, adding, “Everybody should respect the court verdict”. A court in Surat on Thursday sentenced Gandhi to two years jail in a case filed against him over his “Modi surname” remarks.

Mr. Yadav also slammed Gandhi for his recent democracy remarks in the UK and accused him of hurling abuses and telling lies.

The Congress leader has not just insulted a caste or a society with his remarks for which he has been convicted by the court, he has also insulted “India, Constitution of India and democratic process in India” with his recent comments in London, he charged.

“His words reflect his mindset about the OBC society and other smaller (lower caste) societies,” Mr. Yadav added.

Can’t blame all Gandhi surnames just because Rahul ‘insulted’ Indian democracy: Kiren Rijiju

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju took a fresh dig at him saying one cannot blame all Gandhi surnames just because the Congress leader “insulted” Indian democracy, its armed forces and country’s institutions.

“We can’t blame all Gandhi surnames just because Rahul Gandhi insulted Indian democracy, our Armed forces & India’s Institutions. Rahul Gandhi made very derogatory remark and disgraced an entire OBC Community. Shockingly, some Congress leaders are trying to defend it,” Mr. Rijiju said in a tweet.

On Thursday, Mr. Rijiju had said that Mr. Gandhi’s remarks have caused harm to the Congress whose leaders were worried that the party’s fortunes were sinking.

(With inputs from PTI)

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