Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called out a Congress leader for controversial remarks about his parents, questioning why the party was making “personal attacks”. Criticising the comments of Vilas Muttemwar, a former union minister, in scathing terms, PM Modi said it only exposes the tradition of dynastic politics in the Congress.
The party, he said, cares only about lineage, not about achievements. “The Congress will never have the guts to fight an election on the basis of development,” said.
The comments from former Union minister Vilas Muttemwar — made at an internal meeting of the party — flies in the face of party chief Rahul Gandhi’s rule about refraining from personal attacks on the Prime Minister. It also pushed former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah to wonder if the BJP has “sleeper cells” in the Congress.
In a video that has gone viral, Mr Muttemwar is heard saying, “Who knew you (Modi) before you became the PM. Even now, nobody knows the name of your father, but everybody knows the name of (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi’s father”. The leader from Vidarbha has since claimed that his remarks have been distorted for political gains.
At an election rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Vidisha. PM Modi said, “Two days ago, one Congress leader dragged in my mother. My mother hasn’t even seen Madhya Pradesh. She doesn’t even know the ‘R’ of rajneeti (politics). As if that wasn’t enough, they dragged in my father too — someone who passed away 30 years ago. Why did they do that?”
“Who knew you (Narendra Modi) before you became the PM. Even now, nobody knows the name of your father,” former Union minister Vilas reportedly said.
“We never make any personal attacks on anyone’s family. We criticised the post they held. But why are Congress leaders making personal attacks on my mother and father,” he said.
A quick response, however, came from Mr Abdullah, who tweeted:
The Congress had suspended its veteran leader Mani Shankar Aiyar last year after his “neech” slur against PM Modi. It was revoked eight months later, in August.
Recently, sources said the Congress chief was also unhappy with several of tweets of Divya Spandana — known for amping up the party’s twitter handle — that targeted the Prime Minister. One tweet using the word “chor (thief)” and another had a truncated video of PM Modi, which misled people about his educational qualifications.