Congress slams BJP over 'drug addict' remark against Rahul Gandhi
The Indian National Congress on Wednesday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party over controversial remarks against Congress MP Rahul Gandhi. BJP Karnataka President Nalin Kumar Kateel had on Tuesday called Gandhi a "drug peddler and addict." Congress has reacted strongly to the statement, asking its rival to rescind the remarks. Party General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala also accused Kateel of being "hungover."
Why does it matter?
- The row was triggered by the Congress Karnataka unit's "illiterate" remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Shivakumar has since apologized, but Kateel retaliated with sharp accusations against Gandhi regardless.
- The latest instance of regression in political discourse between the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress in Karnataka comes close to by-polls in two Assembly constituencies: Hanagal and Sindagi.
'Are they hungover on drugs?' asks Surjewala
Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Wednesday that BJP leaders must reveal if they are hungover on drugs. Surjewala also questioned whether leaders of the ruling party are abusing drugs worth Rs. 2 lakh crore seized from the Adani Port in Gujarat, Modi's home state. He said Kateel's statement was "uncultured" and such remarks cannot be acceptable. Kateel must issue an apology, he added.
Congress' Shivakumar takes high ground
Congress Karnataka President DK Shivakumar also took to Twitter to remind the BJP that he had apologized for his party's obnoxious tweet against Modi. Shivakumar said the party's comment came from a "novice social media manager." He maintained that political discourse should remain "civil and respectful" and expressed hope that the BJP would also issue an apology.
You can read DK Shivakumar's tweet here
Yesterday I said I believe we should be civil and respectful in politics, even to our opponents. I hope the BJP agrees with me, and will apologise for their state president’s abusive and unparliamentary remarks against Shri Rahul Gandhi.@RahulGandhi— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) October 19, 2021
What had Kateel said about Gandhi?
Reacting to the Karnataka Congress' tweet against Modi, BJP's Kateel had said on Tuesday, "Your G-23 says Sonia Gandhi is not President. Sonia Gandhi says she is President. On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi says he will become president. Tell me what is Rahul Gandhi?" "Rahul Gandhi is a drug addict and drug peddler...I'm not saying this, it has appeared in news reports."
What triggered the whole row?
On Monday, the official Twitter handle of the Karnataka Congress had called Modi "angootha chaap" or illiterate. The tweet had said, "Congress built schools but Modi never went to study. Congress even set up schemes for adults to learn, Modi didn't learn there, too." It further said that "people who chose to beg" are now forcing people into poverty.
Karnataka by-polls due on October 30
By-polls will be held in the Sindagi and Hangal Assembly constituencies on October 30. The results will be declared on November 2. The by-polls mark the first electoral test for the BJP's Basavaraj Bommai administration, which took over in July. The ruling BJP holds 120 seats in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly while Congress and JD(S) hold 68 and 32 seats, respectively.