ON A day she was quoted by the media as describing Rahul Gandhi as “immature”, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday appealed that her words should not to “twisted”. The BJP, however, was quick to latch onto the remark and trained its guns on the Congress vice-president.
Leading the charge was BJP president Amit Shah. While addressing a rally in Azamgarh, he said: “Aaj maine unka ek statement padha ki Rahul baba abhi mature nahin hue hain, unko mature hone me thoda samay dijiye. Are Sheilaji, aapki baat to pura desh maanta hai. Wo mature nahin hain to UP par kyon thop rahin hain aap unko (I have read a statement of her saying that Rahul baba has not matured yet, and that he should be given more time to become matured… If he is not mature, why are your forcing him upon Uttar Pradesh).” He added: “Kya yeh prayogpuri hai, yahan seekhne ke liye kisi ko bhejna hai kya (Is this a political laboratory or learning ground for someone?)”
Noting that UP faces a plethora of problems, Shah said “men of steel” are needed to solve the same. “Problems of Uttar Pradesh can be solved only under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he told the crowd. On Friday, Dikshit was quoted by the Times of India saying: “Rahul is still not mature as he is still in his forties and should be given more time.” She was also quoted as having raised questions over Congress’ decision to attack the Prime Minister on the issue of Sahara diaries, in which she was also named.
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“Mischievous interpretation of my words. #SaharaDiaries has been put to rest by Hon’ble SC. I was always ready for an enquiry. PM was not… Rahul has the sensitivity and concern of a mature leader. His words are those of a young, courageous and restless man. #DontTwistMyWords,” Dikshit said in a series of tweets.
Speaking to mediapersons, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan thanked Dikshit for “recognising the truth” about Rahul.
“It was delayed, but at least the acknowledgement has come. It was already known to the people of the country. I thank Sheilaji for finally acknowledging the truth,” he said.
Pradhan was dismissive when asked about Rahul’s statement that the PM “starts pitting one community against the other when he fears something”. “What Sheila Dikshitji has said is correct. Let Rahul become matured first, then we will reply to what he says,” he said.
Linking BJP’s good show in Odisha panchayat polls with the “the poor standing behind Modiji” after demonetisation, Pradhan said the party has scored big in areas including Kalahandi, which Rahul had visited in the past and made several promises.