+ embarrassed Congress by making personal remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s family, another of its senior member, Vilas Muttemwar, courted controversy by saying on Saturday night that nobody knew the name of Modi’s father.
Modi retorted on Sunday by tearing into Congress for dragging his parents into the election campaign and alleged that its president Rahul Gandhi was encouraging this tactic.
In a video of the Congress meeting
+ in Rajasthan’s Siwana assembly seat on Saturday night, Muttemwar is seen reacting to Modi’s oft-repeated statement asking Congress for its achievements during its tenures in power. “Pehle apna hisaab batao. Tumhe kaun kal tak janta tha desh ka pradhan mantri banne se pehle. Aur aaj bhi tumhare baap ka naam koi janta nahi. Rahul Gandhi ke baap ka naam sab log jante hain Rajiv Gandhi. (You first give your account. Who knew you before you became PM? Nobody knows your father’s name even today. Everybody knows Rahul Gandhi’s father’s name is Rajiv Gandhi),” he says in the video that has since gone viral.
On Sunday, Modi trained his guns on Congress, saying: “A few days ago, a Congress leader dragged my mother into politics. She doesn’t know the R of rajneeti. Was it necessary? Is this all you have? I thought the outrage over that will teach Congress a lesson but now they have dragged my father, who died 30 years ago. No one in my family has ever had anything to do with politics. Why did you drag my father,” Modi asked at an election meeting in Vidisha on the last day of his campaigning in MP.
Without taking Rahul’s name, Modi blamed him for encouraging the use of crude language. “Is there anyone in Congress who will speak without the permission of Naamdar (a reference to Rahul)? He says ‘Modi talks about my family too’. But I don’t speak about your family members. I talk about your former PMs and leaders, and I demand an account of their work. If anyone from my family joins politics, you are free to go after them.”
However, Muttemwar told TOI that BJP was trying to distort a part of his speech. “I never questioned the parentage of Narendra Modi. BJP and Modi keep questioning the work of Rahul Gandhi’s parents and grandparents. Then, why shouldn’t Congressmen question the work done by Modi’s parents for the country,” he asked, defending his remarks.