As political discourse got murkier , the Congress and the BJP traded charges of being “fascist” . A day after the Congress demanded an apology for BJP President Nitin Gadkari’s comments about UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi , the Opposition party intensified its offensive against her and said it was the grand old party which should say sorry over its “irresponsible remarks like merchant of death” for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi .
Within hours of the BJP describing the Congress as a “fascist and intolerant” party, the Congress dubbed every BJP chief minister as a “despot and fascist” . Describing party President Nitin Gadkari’s observations on Gandhi as “very apt and factual” , BJP spokesperson Jai Prakash Nadda told reporters here “the Gandhi family and Congress are not honest in fighting and eradicating corruption. The BJP president’s comments have hit the Congress where it hurts most.” He said calling it gutter-level politics showed the Congress’ mindset. Gadkari had said in Kolkata on Wednesday that Gandhi talking about getting rid of corruption was like Pakistan saying it will fight terrorism, sparking off a war of words between the BJP and the Congress.
“It’s the Congress which should seek an apology for using terms like ‘merchant of death’ , ‘maneater’ and Dawood Ibrahim against a popular chief minister of the party,” Nadda said. Gandhi had referred to Modi as “maut ka saudagar” during the 2007 Gujarat assembly elections. Nadda also listed out corruption , the police crackdown at Ramlila Maidan, delay in Afzal Guru’s death sentence and reactions to leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj’s dancing at Rajghat among issues for which the Congress should apologise.
“Adopting coercive measures is Congress’ policy ,” he said. The BJP, which is holding a nationwide campaign against the government later this month coinciding with the declaration of state emergency in 1975, is expected to ratchet up its attack on the Gandhi family. The party had demanded to know where the UPA chairperson was on vacation. Congress spokesperson, Jayanthi Natarajan, described Gadkari as “a puppet of the RSS” . She had said that Gadkari had reduced national discourse to gutter-level politics and should apologise. Economic Times