New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doing "Khoon ki dalali" with the blood of soldiers, triggering off a political controversy with a comment redolent of the "Maut ka Saudagar" line used by his mother Sonia Gandhi in 2007.
The controversial comments will likely put his party on the back foot again as it tries to shake off damage caused by Maharashtra Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam when he called the surgical strikes fake. Incidentally, immediately after the surgical strikes by Indian Army commandos on September 30, Rahul had congratulated the PM.
The "Khoon ki Dalali (brokering their blood) comments made by the Congress scion made in New Delhi on Thursday was reminiscent of the statement by party chief Sonia Gandhi when she referred to the then Gujarat chief minister Modi as "Maut Ke Saudagaar" (deal-maker of death) in 2007. The comment, which created a political backlash, had played into BJP’s hands.
"You are hiding behind the blood of our soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in Jammu & Kashmir. Our jawans have given blood, they carried out surgical strikes. You are doing 'khoon ki dalali' with the blood of our martyrs. Our Army did what they were supposed to do. Now do your work," Rahul said at a rally in Delhi to wind up his month-long tour of Uttar Pradesh.
His statement was immediately condemned by leaders of other political parties. "Sanity should prevail. This statement is blatantly shamelesss. No words to even condemn it," said Sudhanshu Mittal of the BJP.
"I don't think Rahul even knew the meaning of what he was saying," Aam Aadmi Party leader spokesperson Raghav Chaddha said.
BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said the remark reflected the "frustration" and "mental bankruptcy" of the Congress leader.
"It is most shameful. Such remarks reflect his mental bankruptcy. The army and the Prime Minister are getting praise from everywhere for the surgical strikes. Modi is being praised for his decision and he is unable to digest it. Rahul Gandhi is in frustration," he said.
Senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussein too slammed Gandhi for his comments and said that profiteering runs in the blood of the Congress party.
"It was Rahul who had congratulated PM on the surgical strikes and now after Chidambaram, and Digvijay Singh, Rahul is raking up the issue. The blood that was spilled was that of Pakistanis and Indian soldiers had conducted the surgical strikes. This low level of discourse against PM has never been witnessed," Hussein added.