Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday justified his remark against former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, saying he was just stating a fact. “I don’t understand why the Congress is so agitated over the remark,” Modi told Navbharat Times in an interview.
At a rally in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, Modi had said Gandhi’s life ended as “Bhrashtachari No. 1” or “corrupt no. 1”. Modi had challenged the Congress to fight the Lok Sabha elections in the name of Rajiv Gandhi, who he referred to as “Bofors accused”. Congress President Rahul Gandhi had responded to Modi’s remarks saying he has only love for Modi despite the prime minister insulting his father.
“When the Congress president abuses the sitting PM or makes fun of his poverty and his family, this very ecosystem of Congress applauds the remark,” Modi told the Hindi newspaper. “But if I say something about his [Rahul Gandhi’s] father, which is a stated fact, Congress leaders lose their cool.”
The prime minister claimed no one from the “Congress ecosystem” had neither denied Rajiv Gandhi was corrupt nor said that Modi’s remark was factually incorrect.
When asked about mentioning Pakistan in his election speeches, Modi said: “This is not a municipal election. This is a national election and terrorism is an issue in the country...If Pakistan exports terrorism, it will obviously find a mention.”
Modi claimed the Opposition’s “frustration and disappointment” was rising and was more evident after every phase of the Lok Sabha elections. “A close leader of ‘the family’ [Gandhi family] dismissed any chance of the Congress getting a majority,” Modi said. “Congress is a party that claims it will win even when it knows it will lose its deposit. So when a big leader of the party says this, it means Congress will end up in a bad situation in elections.”
The prime minister the Congress party has admitted to working as a “votekatwa” or one who splits votes. “You can imagine that a party that has earlier ruled from panchayat to Parliament is now proud about being a votekatwa,” he said.