The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday reacted sharply to Mallikarjun Kharge’s “Ravan” barb for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the saffron party saying that the Congress chief has lost “control over his words”.
Amit Malviya, the in-charge of BJP’s IT Cell, tweeted: “Unable to take the heat of Gujarat election, pushed to the fringe, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge loses control over his words, calls Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘Ravan’.”
Calling it as an “insult” to all Gujaratis, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra urged voters in the upcoming Gujarat assembly election to “teach” the opposition a “lesson” by voting “100 per cent for the son of the soil”. He added that Kharge was “voicing the views” of former Congress presidents Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, alleging that attacks on PM Modi started in 2007 Gujarat assembly polls with Sonia Gandhi’s “maut ka saudagar” (merchant of death) remark.
Addressing a rally in Gujarat’s Behrampura area on Monday night, Kharge said in every election, votes are sought in the name of Modi instead of local candidates or the performance of government.
“Modi asks people to ignore everything and vote (for BJP) by keeping his face in front of the eyes. I wonder on how many occasions we have to see your face? People have to see your face during municipal corporation polls, then in the Assembly polls and also during polls to elect MPs,” he said. “Everywhere you want us to see your face. Why? How many faces do you have? Are you 100-headed like Ravan? I don’t understand this.”
Kharge further stated that the BJP asks people to vote for Modi. “If our candidate for this seat is Shailesh Parmar, then campaign for your candidate against him and seek votes in his name. Instead, they say vote for Modi. Will he come here to fix issues related to the municipality?” the Congress president said.
Weighing in on the controversy, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said Kharge remark reflects the opposition party’s “hatred for Gujaratis” and is an attempt to “abuse Gujarat and Gujaratis”.
Elections for the 182-member Assembly in the BJP-ruled Gujarat are scheduled to be held in two phases on December 1 and 5.