- "Was it election or coronation for post of Congress President?" PM asks
- Rahul Gandhi was in the Lok Sabha when PM Modi targeted his party
- Rahul Gandhi says PM is silent on important issues like Rafale deal
"In December, did we witness an election or coronation for the post of Congress President," PM Modi said, referring, without names, to Rahul Gandhi's takeover of the top party post after an election in which he was challenged by nobody.
Rahul Gandhi later told reporters: "We expected the prime minister to speak like a prime minister. Every time, his speech is about the Congress, Congress leaders and Narendra Modi. There are some important issues before the country that he is silent on - corruption in the Rafale deal, farmers..."
Congress leaders have rubbished suggestions that the elevation of the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi family as party chief is anything less than democratic. One exception was Shehzad Poonawalla, a Maharashtra Congress leader who publicly called the election "rigged" and said he would like to challenge Rahul Gandhi for the post.
While raising Rahul Gandhi's promotion, PM Modi referred to Mr Poonawalla's rebellion, again without taking names: "One youngster raised his voice about this as well."
Rahul Gandhi was in the Lok Sabha when PM Modi targeted his party, amid loud slogan-shouting by opposition members and periodic cries of "shame" from the ruling members.
"You talk of democracy and try to lecture us? It was your party chief that tore up the paper and threw it in the faces of the media. It was your party chief that didn't let young leaders give their points of view and you preach us democracy," thundered the Prime Minister.
PM Modi also said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first home minister, had got more votes to become prime minister, a post that went to Jawaharlal Nehru. "...but still who became the first PM of India? And you give us a lecture on democracy!"
Accusing the Congress of arrogance, he said: "India did not get democracy due to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as Congress wants us to believe. Please look at our rich history. Democracy is integral to this nation and is in our culture."
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