- Rajiv Gandhi's life "ended as 'Bhrashtachari No 1'", PM Modi said
- "Your Karma awaits you," Rahul Gandhi tweeted his response
- The PM's statement has been condemned by other opposition leaders
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's response today to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on his father Rajiv Gandhi "ending his life as bhrashtachari (corrupt) number one" was a hug, and a warning on "karma".
"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. Rahul," read the tweet from the Congress chief, who made headlines last year by hugging the Prime Minister on the floor of parliament.
Modi Ji,- Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 5, 2019
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.
The PM's statement has been condemned not just by Rahul Gandhi's sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and former union minister P Chidambaram, but also other opposition leaders like Akhilesh Yadav and Arvind Kejriwal.
Under unrelenting attacks by the Congress over the Rafale fighter jet deal, the Prime Minister yesterday said Mr Gandhi's only aim was to tarnish his image. "Your father was termed 'Mr Clean' by his courtiers, but his life ended as 'Bhrashtachari No 1' (corrupt number 1)," he said at a rally in Uttar Pradesh.
The reference was to corruption allegations in another defence deal - the purchase of Bofors guns in the 1980s - against the Congress government led by Rajiv Gandhi which led to its defeat and the era of coalition governments.
Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991 by terrorists, had got a clean chit from the court in the Bofors case. The Delhi High Court said there was no evidence that he accepted bribes and eventually dismissed all charges against the accused persons in the politically sensitive case.
"Mr Modi has crossed all limits of propriety and decency by defaming a man (Rajiv Gandhi) who died in 1991," P Chidambaram tweeted.
Does Mr Modi know that a BJP government decided not to file an appeal to the SC against the HC judgment?- P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 5, 2019
Priyanka Gandhi tweeted her scorn, reminding the BJP of its core theme of nationalism in this election. "The Prime Minister, who is seeking votes in the name of martyrs, yesterday disrespected the martyrdom of a noble man. People in Amethi will give a befitting reply... Rajiv Gandhi gave his life for the people of Amethi. Yes Modi ji, this nation never forgives deception," her tweet in Hindi read.