The political temperature in poll-bound Gujarat is rising with the Congress now resorting to abusive remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Not responding directly to any such commentary about him, the prime minister remained unfazed. In an election pitch, kilometres away in Telangana on Saturday, he said he had a high “God-given" threshold for abuses thrown at him as they got “processed and converted to nutrition" and “positive energy".
Earlier in the day, a video went viral in which senior Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry is heard saying the grand old party will show Prime Minister Narendra Modi his “aukat” (place), in reference to a poll promise of renaming of Narendra Modi Stadium to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium mentioned in the party manifesto. “Modi cannot be compared to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel,” Mistry said on launching the manifesto.
In the past, slurs and personal attacks against Prime Minister Modi by Congress leaders have only boomeranged on the party. This includes the infamous comment by Mani Shankar Aiyar before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when he said Modi can come and serve tea at a Congress meeting. Other comments against the PM like “maut ka saudagar” and “neech aadmi” have also dearly cost the Congress in the electoral battlefield.
But the PM was in complete poll mode in Telangana, when he hit back at the ruling party leaders in Telangana for throwing abuses at him. He appealed to BJP workers in the southern state to not be bothered by them.
“Those in Telangana keep abusing me. Daily, I receive 2-3 kg of abuses; I have such ability inside me thanks to God that all of it gets processed and converted to nutrition. They become a positive energy to serve the public,” the PM said.
He said some people, due to disappointment, dejection, fear or even superstition, kept throwing abuses at him. “They use various kinds of abuses, they have used all kinds in a dictionary. But don’t be bothered, as they have nothing else left. I have been used to this for 20 years – the variety of abuses. Those who abuse me day and night and find new abuses, I want to tell them to keep abusing me, I will digest them. Abuse the BJP, we will tolerate,” Modi said.
He added: “But if you abuse the people of Telangana, you will pay a high price.”
Though the PM did not directly react to Mistry’s comments, BJP leader Amit Malviya said the Congress leader’s words were an insult to Gujaratis.
“Gujarat has been showing the Congress its ‘aukaat’ for the last 27 years… now Congress is saying it will show ‘aukaat’ to the son of Gujarat – this is an insult to every Gujarati. When will the Congress stop abusing the prime minister?” Malviya said.
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