The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday kept up its criticism of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, a day after he announced that he was no longer the party chief.
BJP’s Karnataka Twitter handle alleged it was a ploy to get a non-Gandhi leader to rebuild the party. “So, for next the four years you will see a non Gandhi slogging to build the party and then you will see the grand entry of Rahul Gandhi to take over the party and contest for the post of PM,” it said. “But the history will repeat and BJP will win again.”
On Wednesday, a number of senior BJP leaders had lashed out at Gandhi. BJP MP Rajyavardhan Rathore said he respected Gandhi’s decision but disagreed with the contents of his letter. “The idea and notion of the Congress has not been rejected by the BJP alone, it has been rejected by the voters of this country,” Rathore told ANI. “The idea of Congress is now synonymous with large-scale corruption, with lack of accountability and above all with dynasty politics and that’s the reason it has been rejected.”
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi called Gandhi’s resignation a “brand new drama of the Grand Old Party” while Union minister Smriti Irani, who defeated Gandhi in the Lok Sabha polls in Amethi, said “Jai Shri Ram” when asked for her reaction.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar said unlike the Congress, an organisational structure was already in place in the BJP. “In BJP, the [organisational] election and membership timetable is ready,” he said. “Work has also started. We also have a working president. If nothing is happening in the other party, what can I do?”
BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said his party had no role in Gandhi’s resignation, ANI reported. “It is up to him [Gandhi] whether he continues or resigns,” Kohli said. “There are two types of parties, one like the BJP which is run by democracy, on the other hand you have family driven parties like the Congress. So it is for them to decide, we have no role.”
In his resignation letter, Rahul Gandhi asked the Congress to elect a new president without further delay. Gandhi, who took over the reins of the party in 2017, said he was resigning as accountability was critical for the party’s growth. He added that he had no hatred or anger towards the Bharatiya Janata Party but only resisted its idea of India.
On Thursday, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said she had the “deepest respect” for her brother’s decision. “Few have the courage that you do,” she tweeted. “Deepest respect for your decision.”