Congress says Modi needs ‘counselling’; BJP hits back (Roundup)

New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) The Congress on Monday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his remarks reflect a “unhealthy mindset”, has “dragged the political narrative to a gutter level” and advising “counselling”. The BJP hit back, targeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi whom it termed a “spoilt child”.

The two parties also clashed over Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the US to attend an international conference.

Congress senior spokesman Anand Sharma led the party’s fierce attack on the prime minister over his veiled dig at the party during his ongoing US visit.

Referring to him getting emotional and breaking down at an event while recalling events about his mother, Sharma said “Modi had insulted his mother” by stating that she worked in houses for minor jobs to raise her children as he claimed Modi’s family was not so poor.

“What is the duty of a son whose mother has sacrificed so much. Instead of crying outside (the country), he should fulfil his duty. May be the people of country will respect him more. We are troubled that he repeatedly brings disrepute to the country,” he told media persons here.

“No other prime minister does such projection as Modi does. No prime minister has done it. The reason is his bent of mind. He thinks no one is equal to him. This a matter of national worry. It is unhealthy mindset,” Sharma alleged.

Referring to Modi’s remarks about corruption from sons, daughters, son-in-laws of political leaders, he asked him to furnish a list so that people can verify such allegations. Modi had made apparent reference to controversy surrounding land deals of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of the Congress president.

Sharma raised questions about Modi’s remarks that he sold tea as a child, saying that his father had a “proper canteen” at Vadnagar and his uncle had a canteen in Ahmedabad where Modi managed the counter and “did not sell tea”.

He accused Modi of misusing his official state visits and demanded an independent inquiry into “millions of dollars spent” in organising Modi’s public events during his visits abroad.

Hours after Sharma’s sharp attack, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson M.J. Akbar sought to return the fire.

“The opposition party has become the voice of untruth, malice and utter frustration. Modi is devoted to his mother. He touched her feet after the election victory. The opposition party get personal by making such remarks and one should keep away such relations from politics,” he said.

“This is in contrast to Congress where a mother has ruined the party for her son and trying to ruin the country for her son,” he said, in a reference to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

Akbar also attacked Rahul Gandhi following his office tweeting, earlier in the day, a picture of him at the conference at US’ Aspen.

“Instead of posting the picture of an ‘alleged’ international conference he should have explained what he was doing there. Gandhi tries to hide his visit. It is this behaviour which has made him a spoilt child of Indian politics,” he added.

In his tweet, Rahul Gandhi said: “Very interesting discussions on the global economy & the disruptive power of tech at the conference in Aspen.”

Congress leader Milind Deora also posted his photo on Twitter account along with Gandhi and Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson. “Snapshots from a new media & international affairs conf in CO, USA with @OfficeOfRG, Iceland’s President & @DMiliband,” said the caption.

Sharma also accused Modi of keeping the company of the rich and ignoring the poor. He disputed Modi’s figures on the size of India’s economy and alleged that the prime minister had misled the country “by placing wrong facts and figures before it”.

“For Modi, it’s I, me and myself,” he said and claimed that hundreds of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers made preparations for his public events.

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