Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a rally in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh, took a swipe at Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s father and former PM Rajiv Gandhi, calling him Bhrashtachari No:1 (Corrupt No:1).
PM Modi was reacting to the Congress chief’s incessant attacks on him regarding allegations of corruption in the Rafale jet deal. Mr. Modi said that Mr. Gandhi’s only aim was to tarnish his image.
“Your father was termed ‘Mr. Clean’ by his courtiers, but his life ended as ‘Bhrashtachari No:1’,” PM Modi said.
He was referring to the Bofors scandal that broke during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure. There were allegations that Swedish defence manufacturer Bofors had paid huge kickbacks to Rajiv Gandhi and others for the sale of its artillery gun to India.
Taking to Twitter, Congress president and Rajiv Gandhi’s son Rahul 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 between Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Modi came a day before voting for fifth phase of polls takes place on Monday, with Mr. Gandhi’s own constituency, Amethi, going to polls as well.
The party’s core committee member and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram also hit back at the PM in a series of messages on Twitter.
“Mr. Modi has crossed all limits of propriety and decency by defaming a man (Rajiv Gandhi) who died in 1991,” Mr. Chidambaram wrote. He added that the charges against Rajiv Gandhi were dropped by the Delhi High Court.
Mr. Chidambaram wrote: “Does Mr Modi read anything at all? Does he know that the charge against Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was thrown out by the High Court, Delhi as ‘completely baseless?'”
He also pointed out that it was a BJP government that decided not to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the said HC judgment.