Amid an intensifying political fight between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, BJP president J P Nadda on Friday slammed Rahul Gandhi for his “derogatory” reference to Other Backward Class (OBC) community.
A day after Gandhi’s conviction in a defamation case over the “Modi surname” remarks in 2019, in a series of tweets, Nadda said, “By comparing OBC communities to thieves, Rahul Gandhi has shown a pathetic and casteist mindset. However, his latest tirade is not surprising. For the last many years, he has always reduced levels of political discourse.”
He also alleged that “lies, personal slander and negative politics is integral” to his politics, and “the Congress leader has a huge arrogance but little understanding”.
“He repeatedly hurt the sentiments of the OBCs. The Surat court has convicted him for his objectionable comments against the community. But Rahul Gandhi and the Congress stuck to those remarks due to their arrogance,” Nadda said.
The BJP chief added the “cooked-up Rafale scam” was the core issue that Gandhi raised ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“Wherever he went he spoke of it. Mr. @RahulGandhi’s negative politics and cooked up Rafale scam faced a setback in the court of law. Our highest court of the land, the Honourable Supreme Court gave a very clear verdict on the Rafale issue and did not believe the corruption bogey Mr. Gandhi raised,” Nadda tweeted.
Referring to Gandhi’s campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for which he had to apologise, Nadda said: “Mr. @RahulGandhi’s acerbic Chowkidar Chor Hai remarks were also not appreciated by the Supreme Court and for that HE APOLOGIZED,” Nadda said. “In the run up to 2019 polls, @RahulGandhi kept repeating – Chowkidar Chor Hai notwithstanding the harm he was doing to political discourse. He went on ranting against PM @narendramodi even if it meant he was defeated in his own seat and his party wiped out nationally.”
Stating that the people of India did not forgive him in 2019 and in 2024, the punishment will be more severe, Nadda said, “Now, Rahul Gandhi calls the entire OBC community thieves. He gets flak in the courts but he refuses to apologise thus showing how deep-rooted his hatred for OBCs is.”
Mallikarjun Kharge refutes allegations
Responding to Nadda’s allegation that Rahul Gandhi compared OBC communities to thieves, , Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge accused the BJP of indulging in “caste politics”.
Kharge, in a tweet in Hindi, said, “Modi government cannot escape from JPC! Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, and Mehul Choksi fled with the money of PNB and the public. OBCs did not do so, then how were they insulted?” “SBI/LIC suffered losses due to your ‘best friend’!” he said.
“‘Ek toh chori mein sahyog phir jatigat rajneeti ka prayog’ (First providing help in stealing then applying caste politics),” Kharge said and called it “shameful”.
On Thursday, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat, H H Varma, sentenced the Congress leader to two years imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 after convicting him for the offence of criminal defamation under Sections 499 and 500, Indian Penal Code.
The court has suspended his sentence for 30 days but not his conviction and granted him bail to enable him to move an appeal against its verdict.
On Friday, Rahul was disqualified as a Member of Parliament of the Lok Sabha over his conviction in the defamation case.