Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of insulting his “mentor” LK Advani, drawing criticism by the BJP that the country is watching how the chief of the oldest political party is behaving.
Addressing a rally of party workers in Mumbai, Gandhi said Modi did not treat his guru (Advani) with respect even at official functions despite Hinduism teaching how a “guru” was the most important person in an individual’s life.
“Everybody knows who is the guru and mentor of Modi — LK Advani. But the Prime Minister doesn’t accord respect to him even at official functions. It is me who follows protocol and I am always with him (Advani) during (such) events,” he said.
“Today I feel very sad for Advani ji. The Congress party has given him more respect than Modi ji has,” he said.
The Congress president said his party fought and defeated Advani in 2004 and 2009 parliamentary elections. “Now it is the Congress and our party’s ideology which give respect to Advani,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi said he was the first to pay a visit to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee after his hospitalisation on Monday. “We believe Vajpayee has contributed to the country,” he said.
Reacting to Rahul Gandhi’s allegations, the BJP said he was practising the “lowest form of politics” and that it was bizarre to see the president of the country’s oldest party stoop to such a low.
BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni claimed it was clear that the Congress president has no link with Indian values as he keeps violating political and social norms.
Baluni referred to Congress leaders’ criticism of former president Pranab Mukherjee for attending an RSS event, and said the country had seen how the party treated one of its veterans.
Congress leaders had torn to pieces clothes of its then president Sitaram Kesari and thrown him out of his office, Baluni said as he cited alleged mistreatment of former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao by his party to make his point.
Rahul Gandhi should not lecture us political values, he said.
“The Congress president is practising the lowest form of politics. He is violating our social and political norms. He does not even seem to know the kind of politics he is doing. The country is watching how the president of the oldest political party is behaving,” Baluni said.