The BJP today sought to embarrass Rahul Gandhi, saying the ex-serviceman whose photograph he has tweeted to pan demonetisation has publicly supported note ban, and claimed that he is turning Indian National Congress into “Indian Fake News Congress”. Terming demonetisation a “tragedy”, Gandhi, whose party is today observing ‘black day’ on the anniversary of the decision, tweeted a last year’s photograph of Nand Lal in which the septuagenarian former army soldier appeared anguished as he stood in a queue to withdraw currency after the note ban. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was “unfair” on Gandhi’s part to use the photo of a former soldier for his “nefarious design” and cited Lal’s remarks made in an interview favouring the note ban decision. “Some fake photograph of his has been used by Rahul Gandhi to criticise (demonetisation). Nand Lal has been a distinguished soldier of the Army. He has retired. He has publicly supported Narendra Modi and demonetisation. It is completely unfair,” the BJP leader said.
“This is the level of Rahul Gandhi. He is determined to make Indian National Congress the Indian Fake News Congress. At least, he must stop insulting soldiers for his nefarious design,” he said. The minister also took a dig at Gandhi over his criticism of Gujarat’s “historic” development under the BJP and his tweet of his dog ‘Pidi’. Prasad alleged that it was not the first time that the the Congress had tried to mislead the people. The party highlighted the pain of a “poor man” in a queue in Karnataka and that person turned out to be a rich Congress leader whose premises were raided by government agencies later, the minister claimed.
The BJP and the Congress have been sparring over the note ban issue with the opposition party today observing ‘black day’ on the anniversary of the demonetisation decision. In a counter-move, the BJP is marking it as ‘anti-blackmoney day’. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had yesterday termed demonetisation as “organised loot” and “legalised plunder”. Hitting back, Prasad had said the former prime minister “seemed to be reading scripts written by someone else, just like Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi”. Criticising Singh, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today alleged that the former prime minister looked away when “organised plunder” kept happening during the UPA rule.