The Congress and its leaders are too busy praising Pakistan to concentrate on Assembly elections in Bihar, BJP President JP Nadda declared today. Mr Nadda's swipe was aimed at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, who last week took a dig at the centre after an IMF report said the Indian economy would be outperformed by Pakistan, Afghanistan and at least six other Asian nations.
Today, addressing an election rally in Bihar's Buxar, Mr Nadda said the Congress was busy extolling Pakistan because their governments had made no contribution to the country.
"So what do they do? Just this - when the election is on in Bihar, talk about Pakistan. What has Bihar election got to do with Pakistan? But Congress leaders are praising Pakistan. And who is leading them in this praise? Rahul Gandhi," Mr Nadda said.
In connection with an IMF report on the overall condition of the Indian economy, which has been badly hit by months of lockdown, Mr Gandhi had tweeted: "Another solid achievement by the BJP government. Even Pakistan and Afghanistan handled Covid better than India".
The BJP chief, however, hit back by declaring that the global community had praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for managing the COVID-19 situation in India; the Health Ministry, in a briefing earlier today, reiterated that India's deaths per million figure was among the lowest in the world.
"But our Rahul Gandhi talks about Pakistan's handling of COVID-19," Mr Nadda said, as he accused the Congress MP of "speaking the language of Pakistan and separatists".
Mr Nadda wasn't the only BJP leader to hit out at Congress leaders referring to Pakistan's handling of the Covid pandemic; according to news agency PTI, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath hit out at Shashi Tharoor for his video interaction with a Pakistani journalist.
Mr Tharoor had reportedly lauded Pakistan for its better performance in controlling the outbreak
"Does Pakistan deserve to be praised by any leader of this country?" Yogi Adityanath asked.
At other election rallies the UP Chief Minister invoked Lord Ram today and cited the government's battle against terror to seek votes for the BJP.
"We ended terrorism, entered into Pakistan and killed the terrorists," he said in an obvious reference to the air strikes at Pakistan's Balakot.
Bihar votes for a new government in a three-phase election starting October 28. Results are due November 3. The Congress has allied with Tejaswhi Yadav's RJD and Left parties, while the BJP has backed Nitish Kumar's JDU.
With input from PTI