New Delhi: In what seems like a gloomy Sunday for Prime Minister Modi, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, SP chief Akhilesh and Sam Pitroda among others took to Twitter to slam PM Modi over his comments on former PM Rajiv Gandhi.
At a rally in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, Modi had targeted the former prime minister in a tirade against his son Congress chief Rahul Gandhi over his allegations around the Rafale fighter jet deal. "Your father was termed Mr Clean by his courtiers, but his life ended as bhrashtachari no 1," Modi said referring to Bofors scandal in which Rajiv Gandhi had been implicated.
Mamata, who has been campaigning extensively, apologised for responding to "the audacity of such a statement".
"Sorry for my delayed response on this. I was campaigning. The comments made by ‘Expiry PM’ ModiJi against fmr PM Rajiv Gandhiji are very unfortunate. RajivJi dedicated himself & laid down his life for the motherland. I condemn the language used & the audacity of such a statement," she said.
Modi's remark has come under extensive criticism in political circles across the country with leaders voicing out against him.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav also took a hit at Modi saying, "Election or not, this is basic humanity" to respect the martyred".
The former UP chief minister added, "The statement by the PM indicates levels to which people can stoop for the sake of clinging to power".
Whatever political disagreements people may have, those who are martyred deserve our respect and their families deserves our empathy. Election or not, this is basic humanity.The statement by the PM indicates levels to which people can stoop for the sake of clinging on to power.— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) May 5, 2019
The remark also made noise up in Jammu and Kashmir with PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti slamming Modi. She said "Rajiv Gandhi lost his life serving our country. He was a true patriot who certainly doesn't need a certificate from those who lynch in the name of religion".
#RajivGandhi lost his life serving our country. He was a true patriot who certainly doesn’t need a certificate from those who lynch in the name of religion. Malicious attempts to malign a person who’s passed away shows political discourse has reached its nadir.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) May 5, 2019
Senior Congress leader Sam Pitroda also condemned Prime Minister Narendra Modi for terming former PM Rajiv Gandhi as corrupt. Hitting back at Modi, Pitroda said, "The baseless comments that the country's current Prime Minister has made yesterday about former premier Rajiv Gandhi makes me feel ashamed as a Gujarati. I belong to the same Gujarat where Mahatma Gandhi was born."
I am a Gujarati from mahatma Gandhi s and Sardar Patel’s soil. I can not believe that our PM Modi is also from the same soil. What is wrong with him? How can he go so low? Is he rattled?— Sam Pitroda (@sampitroda) May 5, 2019
The Congress has turned all guns to Modi with an increasing force of leaders calling him out. Earlier, P Chidambaram’s criticism over the comment was of condemnation as the Congress leader accused the PM of crossing “all limits of propriety and decency”.
'De mortuis nihil nisi bonum'. Of the dead, speaking nothing but the good. Has the PM heard of this ancient wisdom? Does any religion allow anyone to speak ill of the dead?The PM's remarks on former PM Rajiv Gandhi show the extent of his desperation and fear of defeat.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 5, 2019
Congress leader Ahmed Patel slammed the PM over his statement and said, “Those whose nationalism is pseudo and whose politics is based on dividing people will never understand Rajiv Gandhi and his sacrifice for the nation.”
Those whose nationalism is pseudo and whose politics is based on dividing people will never understand Rajiv Gandhi and his sacrifice for the nation— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) May 5, 2019
Former Union Minister Salman Khurshid added more fire to the raging political slugfest over PM Narendra Modi’s "corrupt no. 1" barb against Rajiv Gandhi, terming it the Prime Minister's "mid-summer madness".
Mid summer madness of PM Modi. Seeking short cuts to oblivion! https://t.co/GVfjkMDMQH— Salman Khurshid (@salman7khurshid) May 5, 2019
In a tempered response, Rahul Gandhi only said, "Modi Ji, The battle is over. Your Karma awaits you. Projecting your inner beliefs about yourself onto my father won't protect you. All my love and a huge hug."
MNS chief Raj Thackeray also condemned PM Modi's statement. "Hatred, endless lying and absolutely no qualms in transgressing the decorum of public life are the three characteristics that mark the term of Narendra Modi," he tweeted.
In a statement, Sachin Pilot, the Rajasthan Congress president, said, "It is very unfortunate that Modi made such an objectionable comment regarding a former prime minister. He has not only insulted Rajiv Gandhi but also the sentiments of the people of the country."
"Modi is known for making shockingly insulting statements about his opponents and predecessors. Rajiv Gandhi was a martyred PM of the country. Modi should not forget Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by terrorists," senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said.
Condemning PM's statement, Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy tweeted, "PM @narendramodi's comments against former PM #RajivGandhi are not only despicable and highly condemnable, but also reflect the PM's state of mind. Fear and frustration have taken over his judgement. #ShameOnPMModi."