- PM, President not individuals but institutions: Rajnath Singh
- "I never use foul language for any PM, irrespective of party", he added
- His comments come amid slugfest over PM's remark on Rajiv Gandhi
Amid the ongoing political slugfest over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comments on former PM Rajiv Gandhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said he never used foul language for any of India's premiers, irrespective of their political affiliations.
"I never use foul language for any Prime Minister irrespective of the political party they may belong to. Prime Minister, President are not individuals, they are institutions," Mr Singh said at an election rally in Bihar's Rohtas.
He appealed people to work towards strengthening the institutions of the President and the Prime Minister.
He said, "It is the duty of every party and citizen to strengthen these institutions because if these institutions start weakening, democracy will weaken, and if democracy is weak then no power in the world can save the country from a partition."
"I would not say that a party did nothing for the development of the country. Every party does something. It is just that their working styles are different," he further said.
Mr Singh's statements hold significance as the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress are engaged in a bitter war of words over PM Modi's comments against former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
PM Modi, over the past week, dubbed Rajiv Gandhi as ''corrupt no 1'' and accused him of using the Navy's warship INS Viraat for vacationing with his family and friends during his tenure as prime minister.
Addressing an election rally in Uttar Pradesh on May 4, PM Modi hit out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi saying: "Your father was termed ''Mr Clean'' by his courtiers, but his life ended as ''Bhrashtachari No 1'' (corrupt no 1)."
At another rally in Delhi, the Prime Minister claimed that INS Viraat was used as a "personal taxi" by Gandhi family for 10 days while they were vacationing at an island.
PM Modi, apparently, hit back at Gandhi family to combat Congress' ''chowkidar chor hai'' (the watchman is a thief) poll jibe, a reference to PM Modi who uses ''chowkidar'' as a prefix to his name on social media platforms.
Notably, opposition leaders have been accusing the Modi government of weakening the democratic institutions of the country.
With the completion of five phases of Lok Sabha elections, a total of 118 seats will go to polls in the next two phases - May 12 and May 19 - of the seven-phase general election. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.