In the wake of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s recent ‘Panauti’ (bad omen) remark about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has swiftly moved to the Election Commission, urging the regulatory body to take action against Gandhi for his allegedly derogatory comments.
Addressing a rally in Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi, referring to Prime Minister Modi, stated, “Panauti… Panauti… Panauti… our boys were well on their way to winning the world cup, but Panauti made them lose… the people of this country know.”
Reacting to Gandhi’s comments, BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad criticized the Congress leader and questioned the appropriateness of using such language for the Prime Minister of India. Prasad demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi, emphasizing that the Prime Minister had motivated the players, and winning or losing is a natural part of the game.
Not stopping at ‘Panauti,’ Rahul Gandhi, during another poll rally in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, remarked on the Prime Minister’s role, saying, “The pickpocket never comes alone, there are three people. One comes from the front, one from the back, and one from the distance… Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s job is to divert your attention. He comes on TV from the front and distracts the public by raising topics of Hindu-Muslim, demonetization, and GST. Meanwhile, Adani comes from behind and takes the money.”
In response, the BJP swiftly wrote a letter to the Election Commission, expressing concern about the language used by Rahul Gandhi. The letter, as reported by Hindustan Times, stated, “Comparing a prime minister to a ‘Jaibkatra’ (pickpocket) and ‘Panauti’ is most unbecoming of a senior leader and is a symptom of plummeting levels of political discourse.”
The BJP’s letter to the Election Commission argued that referring to any person as a ‘Jaibkatra’ not only amounts to vicious abuse and a personal attack but also constitutes character assassination with the intent to harm the person’s reputation and mislead the public.
The incident has sparked a fresh controversy between the BJP and Congress, with the BJP insisting that such derogatory remarks are unacceptable in political discourse. The Election Commission will now determine whether Rahul Gandhi’s comments violate the Model Code of Conduct and warrant any action.
As political tensions rise ahead of the upcoming elections in Rajasthan, the war of words between the BJP and Congress intensifies, with each party defending its leaders and attacking opponents. The Election Commission’s decision on this matter will likely play a crucial role in setting the tone for the political discourse in the region.