- Rahul Gandhi referred to Jaish-e-Mohammed chief as "Masood Azhar Ji"
- The BJP has accused the Congress chief of "loving" terrorists
- Congress says BJP deliberately seeks to twist the 'Masood' sarcasm
Did Rahul Gandhi bestow a mark of respect on one of India's most wanted terrorists? That is the accusation that the BJP made on Monday, attacking the Congress chief of "loving" terrorists after Mr Gandhi was heard referring to Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as "ji".
For days now, the Congress led by Mr Gandhi has skewered the BJP for being the party which had freed the terrorist to meet the demands of a group of hijackers in 1999. On Monday, speaking at an event, Mr Gandhi made the same charge.
"In Pulwama, there was a bomb explosion. 40-45 of our CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel were martyred. Who carried out the bomb attack? Jaish-e-Mohammed," he said, according to news agency ANI.
"You might remember Masood Azhar. During the previous government of the 56-inch people, today's NSA (National Security Advisor) Ajit Doval went in an aircraft with Masood Azhar ji and handed him over," the Congress chief said while addressing a party function in Delhi.
As soon as video clips of the speech hit social media, BJP leaders and supporters began their counterattack, using the hashtag "#RahulLovesTerrorists" which became one of the top trends on Twitter.
Come on "Rahul Gandhi Ji"!- Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) March 11, 2019
Earlier it were the likes of Digvijay Ji who called "Osama Ji" and "Hafiz Saeed Sahab".
Now you are saying "Masood Azhar Ji".
What is happening to Congress Party? pic.twitter.com/fIB4FoOFOh
The Congress hit back, doubling down on its attack.
2 questions to BJP & select Bhakt Media,who deliberately seek to twist the 'Masood' sarcasm of Rahulji-:- Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) March 11, 2019
1 Did NSA Doval not escort & release terrorist Masood Azhar in Kandahar?
2 Did Modiji not invite Pak's rogue ISI to investigate Pathankot terror attack? #BJPLovesTerroristspic.twitter.com/nBvjsQi7Mp
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, said to be a close confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been doggedly targeted by the Congress, which says he was instrumental in releasing Masood Azhar as part of negotiations in the Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 hijacking incident. It was this decision, Rahul Gandhi has claimed, that allowed the Pakistan-based terrorist to orchestrate the killing of 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama last month.