Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad charged Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with harbouring talkhi' (bitterness) over loss of political power and speaking of mohabbat' (love) during the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' to hide the same.
The former Union minister also made a veiled reference to leaders like Kanhaiya Kumar, saying people who have nafrat' (hatred) for India and shouted anti-national slogans in JNU had joined the mohabbat ka paigham' rhetoric.
I have come to Patna in connection with the municipal polls scheduled next week. I am under instructions to reply to Gandhi's diatribe in Delhi, said Prasad.
He accused the Congress leader of disrespect towards Hindu faith and sanatan chetna, tracing it back to Jawaharlal Nehru's "disapproval" of active involvement of Sardar Patel in the renovation of Somnath temple and inauguration of it by then President Rajendra Prasad.
The BJP leader also bristled at Gandhi's repeated reference to the Chinese occupation of Indian territory and asked he would do well to remember that it was snatched away in 1962, when Nehru, his maternal great grandfather, was the prime minister of the country.
Prasad lashed out at Gandhi for "failing to acknowledge the contributions" of Patel during his Bharat Jodo Yatra' and pay a visit to the 'Statue of Unity', which has been built in Patel's memory.
Gandhi should know that as a result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for make in India, even Apple and Samsung phones are being manufactured in the country and exported. As a former minister for IT and Telecommunications, I had the privilege of bearing witness to nearly a dozen factories based in China shifting to India, the local MP said.
Rahul Gandhi should remember that when his Congress ruled the country, the armed forces did not have bullet-proof jackets and purchase of arms was mired in corruption, said Prasad on Saturday, in an obvious reference to the alleged Bofors scam.
The fact is, Rahul Gandhi keeps speaking of 'mohabbat' while carrying 'talkhi' in his bosom. He is bitter that people do not vote for him anymore. Are we at fault for this? In Gujarat, the BJP saw a landslide victory despite having been in power for 27 continuous years. Congress scraped through in Himachal Pradesh where there has been a trend of a change in regime every five years. But, they are staring at yet another defeat in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Prasad asserted.
I will advise Rahul Gandhi to stop harbouring bitterness over decline in his political fortunes. He would also do well to align better with the Hindu sensibilities by visiting the revamped Kashi Vishwanath temple, he added.