A day after BJP MP Subramanian Swamy took to Twitter to call Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi “slimy”, the top law officer Tuesday described the Rajya Sabha MP as a “leopard who cannot change his spots”.
Hitting back at Swamy, Rohatgi expressed his displeasure at the manner in which he was being attacked by the BJP lawmaker. “I can also use various adjectives against him but I cannot stoop that low. Like a leopard who cannot change his spots, Mr Swamy is up to his old tricks,” the AG told The Indian Express.
Asked if he had any idea why Swamy was repeatedly making adverse statements against him, Rohatgi said he was not interested in making such inquiries since he had more important tasks at hand. “All I can say is that this tweet (in which Swamy called him slimy) shows Swamy’s frustrations are growing after the Supreme Court turned down his plea for quashing the defamation case,” Rohatgi added.
He further said that it was for those in the government to take note of Swamy’s comments and that he would not engage with him in any manner.
The Indian Express also spoke to other law officers, who were unequivocal in their view that the diatribe against the seniormost law officer must stop and the “highest functionary in the government should intervene.”
An additional solicitor general, on condition of anonymity, said: “The person and office of the attorney general for India cannot be subjected to a bitter outburst of this kind. Moreover, it is very unfortunate that a leader of the party in power has been the protagonist of this declamation.”
Following a short break, Swamy was back on Twitter Monday as he attacked Rohatgi. “My petition on hate speech laws came in SC today. Slimy AG on Govt order had to delete his demand for my prosecution for an anti terror book,” Swamy tweeted. He later tweeted, “Feel pity for Muslim fanatics and Hindu haters who had hoped the slimy AG’s counter affidavit asking for my prosecution will prevail.”
The Supreme Court had in May rejected a plea by Swamy to decriminalise defamation, stating that “right to free speech cannot mean that a citizen can defame the other”.