- PM Modi had accused opposition to form a khichdi (hotch-potch) government
- "When you're sick, you need khichdhi," said Shashi Tharoor
- People will cure "political sickness" by voting out the BJP, he said
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had some food for thought for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who accused the opposition mahagathbandhan of trying to form a "khichdi" (hotch-potch) government.
"When BJP supporters speak of 'mahamilawat'' or say another coalition government would be a ''khichdi'', I respond that when you are sick, you need khichdi!" said Mr Tharoor, known for his complex wordplay and witty metaphors. The Congress lawmaker was referring to the simple meal of rice and lentils boiled together and prescribed often in times of illness.
PM Modi, at a rally in Jharkhand, had said that the mahagathbandhan did not want an absolute majority at the centre and can only function as a "khichdi" government, firmly in the grasp of the Congress party.
Hitting out at PM Modi and the BJP, Mr Tharoor said people were tired of the party's majoritarian and divisive politics, saying the BJP used a cliche set of words, calling those who did not agree to their worldview to be a part of the "tukde-tukde gang" and labeling them as "anti-nationals".
"Narendra Modi and his party are clearly experts in the politics of misrepresentation and peddling a divisive and jingoistic narrative, which is all they have to offer given their disastrous record in office," Mr Tharoor told news agency PTI in an interview.
Criticising the BJP's nationalist plank, he said the Prime Minister had not shied away from politicising India's armed forces and calling himself the ultimate protector of the country's national security.
Mr Tharoor also said the BJP made a "callous assumption" that the common man has forgotten "achche din (good days)", the party's 2014 election campaign promise.
"I have no doubt that the country will resoundingly cure our nation's political sickness by showing the door to the BJP by the 23rd of May," he said.
Downplaying a potential endorsement of a minority government with his "khichdi" retort however, Mr Tharoor stressed on the importance of a post-election scenario and said it was necessary for the Congress to focus on reaching a common ground among all opposition parties.
He also said there was mutual respect between regional political parties and the Congress.
"If the answer is yes, then we will strive towards drawing up a common minimum programme that is acceptable for all partners, as opposed to the broader, more widespread and more enduring agreement that we have with our pre-poll partners," he said.
(With Inputs From PTI)