Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party may have been attacking the Nehru-Gandhi family of late, but Congress President Rahul Gandhi has promised he will not resort to throwing insults at PM Modi's family in retaliation. Mr Gandhi said he would defeat PM Modi with "love" and would never insult his mother and father.
"Modi ji talks with hatred. He insults my father, grandmother, great grandfather. But I will never in my life speak about his family, his mother and father. I will die, but will never insult his mother and father," he was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
"This is because I am not a RSS or BJP man, but belong to the Congress. I will return him love if hatred is thrown at me...We will defeat Modi ji with love, hugging you," he added.
With just one round of polling remaining, the political narrative has taken a dramatic turn as personal attacks are being exchanged between prominent political leaders. While Rahul Gandhi returned "love and hugs" to PM for his barb that Mr Gandhi's father died as "corrupt number 1", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not as restrained as she talked of hitting PM Modi with the "slap of democracy.".
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rahul Gandhi's sister, compared Prime Minister Modi with mythological villain 'Duryodhan'.
Despite counterattacks, PM Modi continued his onslaught on the Nehru-Gandhi legacy of the Congress. At a rally in Delhi last week, he said Rajiv Gandhi and family were sent for a vacation on board the Navy's INS Virat, contending that it had compromised national security.
Former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi have been on BJP's radar over the years. The BJP recently blamed Nehru for helping China to get a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.
On Monday, PM Modi alleged the Congress seeks votes in the names of its ancestors.
"They seek votes in the names of their ancestors, and when questioned about those ancestors, they say 'what happened, happened'," he added, in a reference to the comment by Congress's Sam Pitroda on the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
With inputs from PTI
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