- PM Modi targets Youth Congress leader over tweet against him
- Congress disowns the leader Salman Nizami, says not a party official
- Congress' Mani Shankar Aiyar was supended amid huge row over insulting PM
"There is a youth Congress leader Salman Nizami, he is even campaigning for Congress in Gujarat. He wrote on Twitter about Rahul Ji's father, grandmother. That is ok but he asks - Modi tell me who is your Mother, who is your father? Such language can't even be used for enemies," the PM said at an election rally in Lunawada, which votes in the second phase of the elections on Thursday. Elections in 89 of Gujarat's 182 seats across South Gujarat and Saurashtra are on today, in which 30 per cent polling was recorded till noon.
The Prime Minister said among other things, Salman Nizami, in his tweets also "calls for Azad Kashmir... He calls our army rapists. How can the people accept such people like Salman Nizami? He also says there will be an Afzal (Guru) from every home".
I want to tell all Congress leaders who are abusing me, mocking my poor family, asking who my parents are- this nation is my everything. Every moment of my time is devoted to India and 125 crore Indians: PM @narendramodipic.twitter.com/JGYxfiBPjAnarendramodi_in (@narendramodi_in) December 9, 2017
The Congress was quick to dissociate from Salman Nizami, whose Twitter account is protected and his tweets cannot be accessed by people who do not follow him. "We don't know who Salman Nizami is. He does not hold any position in the party," said senior Congress leader Rajiv Shukla. "We can also say that there is some random person Ram Lal in BJP who said something," he added.
In the last stretch of campaigning, the conflict between the BJP and the Congress had turned extremely personal and bitter. For the last two days, suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's "neech" slur against PM Modi has dominated the campaign.
At an election rally yesterday, the Prime Minister said even Congress president Sonia Gandhi has used the word "neech" against him, attributing what he called their "hatred" to his modest origins.
He had recalled the various Congress slurs, and listing the ones involved, said, "Where is the decency in the language Congress leaders have used for me? What did I do to deserve this? Is it my crime that the people of India have reposed their faith in me?"
Mani Shankar Aiyar had called the Prime Minister a "neech aadmi" on Thursday, after which Rahul Gandhi had demanded an apology. Soon after, the leader, who had been a loyalist of the Nehru-Gandhi family for nearly three decades, was suspended from the party. But PM Modi and top BJP leaders have, with a stream of statements, kept up the pressure on the Congress.