Union minister Jayant Sinha, who had landed in a controversy for felicitating men convicted for killing a meat trader in Jharkhand, hit back at Congress boss Rahul Gandhi, for what he called, was taking the criticism against him to a personal level and dared him to a debate on the Ramgarh lynching case.
“Let him not hide behind his social media handles and practice shoot-and-scoot politics,” Mr Sinha said in a statement.
Mr Gandhi had tweeted his support for an online petition that asked the prestigious Harvard University to drop the union minister from its list of alumni.
Photographs of Mr Sinha garlanding the men convicted for killing meat trader Alimuddin Ansari, 55, were seen to support the vicious trend of violence in the name of cow protection, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had strongly denounced.
Like other opposition parties, the Congress expectedly, had criticised Mr Sinha’s actions in the harshest terms.
Mr Gandhi later followed up, with a tweet that asked people to sign a petition against the minister if the sight of the highly educated lawmaker “garlanding and honouring” convicted criminals disgusted them. The online petition asked Harvard University to drop Mr Sinha from its list of alumni.
The minister said the Congress president had taken the attack to a personal level, condemning “my education, values and humanity”.
“I challenge him to a live debate in Hindi or English on the Ramgarh lynching case, If he thinks that my conduct is ‘disgusting’ then let’s debate it in a civilized manner,” Mr Sinha said.