While BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi is expected to counter the Congress’s barbs against him during his address to BJP’s national council meet over next two days, the saffron party Friday objected to Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ridiculing of Modi, suggesting him to work as a tea vendor at the Congress conclave.
Deploring the remarks, BJP leaders sought to suggest that Rahul Gandhi will be defeated at the hands of Modi in the Lok Sabha elections. “The strength of Indian democracy will be proved when a former tea vendor defeats a dynasty representative. Let this be the battle of 2014,” tweeted Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said the Congress should wait for the election results. “After the elections, it will become obvious who is going to sell tea,” Joshi told reporters.
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The BJP described Aiyar’s comment as an outcome of frustration within the ruling party. “It is a cheap and deplorable comment. This is reflective of the desperation arising out of the impending defeat of Congress,” BJP spokesperson Susdhanshu Trivedi told reporters.
The BJP retorted by taking a dig at the Congress’s chief campaigner Rahul Gandhi. “It is the prospect of defeat staring in the face, which is responsible for the reluctance to announce Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate in 2014,” Jaitley said in a signed article posted on his website.
“The Congress is nervous — why risk puncturing its only card in an adverse political environment by declaring Rahul Gandhi as its PM candidate.”