- The comment was called out by many as a personal attack on PM Modi
- Malavika Avinash, said "only Congress could stoop so low"
- Lavanya Ballal admitted that the tone of the tweet was "unfortunate"
Bitter political sparring in Karnataka ahead of two by-polls touched a new low on Monday as the Congress attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "angootha-chhaap" or illiterate.
"Congress built schools but Modi never went to study. Congress even set up schemes for adults to learn, Modi didn't learn there too. People who chose to beg for a living despite beggary being prohibited are today pushing citizens to beggary. Country is suffering because of "#angoothachhaap modi," the Karnataka Congress tweeted in Kannada.
ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಶಾಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕಟ್ಟಿಸಿತ್ತು, ಆದರೂ @narendramodi ಓದಲಿಲ್ಲ, ವಯಸ್ಕರ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣ ಯೋಜನೆಯನ್ನೂ ಮಾಡಿತ್ತು ಆದರೂ ಓದಲಿಲ್ಲ,— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) October 18, 2021
ಭಿಕ್ಷಾಟನೆ ನಿಷೇಧವಿದ್ದರೂ ಭಿಕ್ಷೆ ಬೇಡುವ ಸೋಂಬೇರಿ ಜೀವನದ ಗೀಳಿಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದವರು ಇಂದು ದೇಶವಾಸಿಗಳನ್ನು ಬಿಕ್ಷುಕರನ್ನಾಗಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.#ಹೆಬ್ಬೆಟ್ಟುಗಿರಾಕಿಮೋದಿ ಯಿಂದ ದೇಶ ನರಳುತ್ತಿದೆ.
The comment was called out by many as a personal attack on the Prime Minister.
The BJP's Karnataka spokesperson, Malavika Avinash, said "only the Congress could stoop so low" and added that the comment did not even merit a response.
State Congress spokesperson Lavanya Ballal admitted that the tone of the tweet was "unfortunate" and said there would be an inquiry. But she said she saw no reason to retract it or apologise for it.
Bypolls will be held for the assembly constituencies of Sindagi and Hangal on October 30. The seats fell vacant after the death of a Janata Dal Secular MLA and a BJP legislator.
Much is at stake for the ruling BJP as this is the first vote after Basavaraj Bommai replaced BS Yediyurappa as Chief Minister. Hangal is right next to the new Chief Minister's constituency Shiggaon. The Congress hopes to score both the seats as a boost ahead of state polls in 2023.
The opposition party, however, did not look good recently when two of its leaders were caught on a hot mic gossiping about their boss DK Shivakumar, and even alleging bribe-taking.
This was followed by a sharp Twitter exchange between Mr Bommai and Congress leader Siddaramaiah, a former Chief Minister.
The back-and-forth began over Mr Bommai's comment that moral policing was "action and reaction" caused by hurt sentiment.
In their fight, Mr Siddaramaiah called the BJP a "communal party" and accused Mr Bommai of joining the party only for power.
Mr Bommai hit back saying he didn't need lessons in policing and administration from Siddaramaiah and said two Hindu activists had been killed on his watch as Chief Minister.