As veteran Congress leaders filed their nominations as candidates in the party’s presidential poll, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to take potshots at them.
As Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, 80, emerged as the favourite to win the election, he was called a “proxy” by BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla in a tweet.
“After (Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok) Gehlot lost favour with Parivar (Gandhis), now 80-year-old Mallikarjun Kharge ji becomes the chosen remote controlled ‘proxy’ candidate, who is projected as an ‘official candidate’, contrast his nomination with Tharoor’s lacklustre one. Isn’t it clear the match is fixed for Kharge,” Poonawalla said.
Poonawalla also took a swipe at the Gandhi family, saying “Does anyone believe this is a free & fair exercise where Parivar is calling the shots to get its candidate ‘selected’. Just like Dr Manmohan Singh was the face & titular PM, now the same SOP will be followed here.”
He alleged that the Gandhis wanted to oust Ashok Gehlot as the Rajasthan CM on the basis of ‘one person one post’ when he was seen to be their choice for the new Congress president. “But an exception is made for Kharge ji. Did he quit as the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha before nomination,” Poonawalla asked.
BJP IT department head Amit Malviya also took to Twitter to mock Kharge’s nomination, calling him “remote-controlled.”
“Mallikarjun Kharge at 80 is an inspiring choice for the Congress. He is young, energetic and just what the Congress needed to ensure its revival. He should just pick Dr Manmohan Singh’s manual on ‘Living by the Remote Control’ and it is all sorted,” Malviya said. He also commented on Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor’s nomination, saying that he “continues to hang in”.