New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi has said that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi can have a strong dislike for him, he only has hugs and love to give in return. It is a claim that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has challenged citing several accusations against PM Modi made by Rahul and fellow Congress leaders.
Rahul said at an election rally on Monday that PM Modi has been targeting him and his family and while he can continue doing so, he will only get love in return from the Congress president. Even in a tweet on Saturday, in reaction to PM Modi calling Rajiv Gandhi corrupt, Rahul had offered 'a huge hug' in return.
Playing it soft, however, is being called out by BJP leaders who have cited numerous instances from the past when Rahul and other Congress leaders have been scathing in their attack against PM Modi. Union minister Arun Jaitley led from the front in targeting Rahul over his new-found strategy and even questioned a Congress delegation for meeting EC over the Rajiv Gandhi remark made by PM Modi. "The Congress and its president can call an honest Prime Minister ‘Chor’. No Model Code of Conduct is preventing that. If the PM calls the Congress legacy as ‘Corrupt No. 1’ the Congress complains that the Model Code of Conduct is violated. Are there two Model Codes of Conduct?" he asked on Twitter.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar too had accused Rahul and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of abusing PM Modi. "For a full year, they called an honest Prime Minister a thief. Now they call him Hitler, Merchant of Death. Is that not abusive politics," he had said on Sunday.
While Congress is now demanding an unconditional apology from PM Modi over his reference to Rajiv Gandhi, the BJP is using past instances of Congress targeting PM Modi in demeaning ways to build a counter. PM Modi himself challenged Rahul to fight the final two phases of Lok Sabha election 2019 in the name of his father.