Cong-BJP Sniping Gets Worse; 2 Cases Filed Against Priyanka
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This election can claim to have set precedent on several points -- the longest drawn, involving the most number of voters and finally getting low and dirty on opponents. The continuous sniping between BJP and Congress reached a crescendo on Wednesday (7 May) with BJP dubbing Rahul Gandhi as "asatya ka saudagar" (merchant of lies) and Modi keeping up the attack on Priyanka Gandhi over her 'neech rajniti' comments.
BJP today said his "untruths" about Gujarat land acquisition policy have been exposed by the report sponsored by his own government that has "praised" the state's model.
"If you permit to borrow something Congress has trademark for themselves, today you (Rahul Gandhi) have become "asatya ke saudagar" (merchant of lies)," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here, in an apparent reference to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's infamous "maut ka saudagar" (merchant of death) barb against Narendra Modi.
Narendra Modi also sharpened his attack on Priyanka by saying those behind rotting of foodgrains in godowns and the CWG scam are the ones who are doing "neech rajniti".
Two Bihar BJP leaders also filed separate cases against Priyanka Gandhi for her 'neech rajniti' barb at Narendra Modi even as Rahul Gandhi countered the saffron offensive over the remark, saying people's actions are low, not their caste.
Addressing an election rally, the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate was unsparing in his criticism of Congress and said the party is in such a "bad shape" that it is finding it difficult to "save" Amethi, which has gone to polls today and from where Rahul Gandhi is seeking election for a third straight time.
"What is neech rajniti? Grains rot and rats eat them.
Supreme Court says distribute it among the poor but Delhi government turns it down even though the poor children are starving... It then sells it to liquor manufacturers. This is neech rajniti and neech karm (low-level action)," he charged.
"They made money from toilet papers in CWG.... Pak beheads our soldiers and our government treats its prime minister to chicken biryani. This is low-level politics. Will you pardon it?," he said.
"Similarly, you looted coal meant for power generation ... did not it amount to low level of politics?" he asked.
Modi said this election is for change and asked people to send maximum BJP candidates to Lok Sabha.
BJP Bihar unit's General Secretary Surajnandan Mehta filed a case in the court of Patna Chief Judicial Magistrate Rama Kant Yadav alleging that the remarks would promote enmity between groups and lead to breach of peace.
The case was filed under IPC sections 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups), 153(B) (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 171 (G) (false statement in connection with an election), 500 (defamation) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of IPC.
The head of state BJP Fishermen community cell Arjun Sahni filed a case in the court of Darbhanga Chief Judicial Magistrate Shailendra Pandey against Priyanka levelling similar charges.
Rahul, who was in Amethi in UP today on the day of polling in the parliamentary constituency, came to the defence of his sister and lashed out at Modi for dubbing his sister's 'low-level politics' remark as an attack on his caste.
"Jaati nahi, karm neech hote hain (It is not caste but ones action that are low)," he said when asked by reporters in Amethi about the controversy.
"Neech soch hoti hai, gusse ki soch hoti hai, Krodh ki soch hoti hai. (It is ideology which is low. There is an ideology of anger," Rahul said, adding his focus was that more and more people vote and women get empowered.
Taking a dig at Congress, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman asked Rahul whether "Gujarat's growth and development model was low thinking."
"So much discussion on 'neech' (low). So much energy was spent on 'neech' (low) comment. What actually was 'neech' supposed to mean. We just do not understand what is this 'neech soch' (low thinking) explanation that is coming out now," she added.
Congress lambasted Modi over his attempts for "opportunistic exploition" of Priyanka's remarks and claimed that Modi tells the electorate to vote their caste when the Congress tells them to cast their vote.
Congress spokesperson Shashi Tharoor maintained that Priyanka has not made any reference to caste or the origins of Modi and was talking about "debased level of political discourse of the BJP".
He also condemned the attempt to "exploit" the phrase and attach to it the idea of caste (jaati) by Modi in his speeches.
Rahul Is A Merchant Of Lies: BJP
Referring to the report prepared on behalf of Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy (DIPP) which has praised the Gujarat land acquisition model as "exemplary", BJP spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman said "In every rally, the Congress vice president spoke about the toffee model that one gets a toffee in one rupee but in Gujarat you will get land in one rupee.
"Where is Rahul Gandhi now? Where is he today? His own government today said that land acquisition policy in Gujarat is exemplary and it is the best practice. From the dais you went about telling the whole world something which did not get corroborated by your own government.
"You went on to say untruths from the dais as part of your election campaign and Congress party did not bat an eyelid. His speech writers did not tell him about this."
She said Congress should apologise for having said such untruths when its government report is to the contrary.
"People are misled."
"Whether malnutrition or encounters, Gujarat was always targeted. Anything to do with Modi and Gujarat is alright for bashing up with untruths.
"We object to this and we take serious note of this kind of vicious attack Congress is propagating against Modi and BJP. Minister Anand Sharam should come out on this," Sitharaman said.
Taking a dig at Congress for its "low-level politics" remarks, the BJP spokesperson asked Rahul Gandhi whether "Gujarat's growth and development model was low thinking."