BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal has likened former AICC chief Sonia Gandhi to a ‘Vishakanya’ (venomous maiden) in retaliation to Congress president M Mallikarjun Kharge’s ‘venomous snake’ barb hurled at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the comments drawing sharp response from the opposition party which sought the legislator’s expulsion.
Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka and its leaders have lost their mental as well as political balance.
“The entire world appreciates Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The US had not given him visa once upon a time, but today he has emerged as a world leader who receives a red carpet welcome and rubs shoulders with world leaders,” Yatnal said at a public meeting on Thursday.
“He (Modi) is compared with a cobra and is called venomous. Is Sonia Gandhi, whom you go dancing about in your party, a Vishakanya. Sonia Gandhi, who ruined the country, works as an agent of China and Pakistan,” Yatnal, who is seeking re-election in the May 10 Karnataka elections from Vijayapura. charged.
His outburst came after Congress President Kharge likened Modi to a venomous snake on Thursday at a public meeting, which had triggered a row, prompting the BJP to seek an apology from Kharge.
Kharge later sought to clarify his remarks were not aimed at the PM but instead at his party, the BJP.
Addressing a public meeting at Ron in Gadag district, as part of the party’s campaign for the May 10 Assembly elections in Karnataka, Kharge said: “Don’t make a mistake. Modi is like a venomous snake. If you say, ‘no, it’s not venomous, let’s lick it and find out.’ Don’t lick it. If you lick, you die.”.
Kharge further added, “(if you think that) no, no, this is not venom because Modi has given it, good man Prime Minister has given it, let’s try it and lick it’–if you lick that venom then you will sleep forever”.
The Congress hit out at BJP over Yatnal’s remarks.
“Facing a complete rout in the assembly elections, the BJP leadership is frustrated to the core and is hurling filth and muck, which is the product of their ugly character and dirty mindset of denigrating and insulting the Congress leadership. They have lost all sense of propriety, political balance and even a remote iota of decency and decorum,” Surjewala said in a statement.
“Instructed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supported by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, BJP leader and Modi Ji’s personal favourite Basangouda Patil Yatnal has stooped to the lowest by calling UPA chairperson and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi as Visha Kanye and Agent of China and Pakistan,” Surjewala said.
He said it is the “worst kind” of sacrilege and abuse being hurled upon Sonia Gandhi and the Congress leadership at the “instance of Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai”.
“The BJP leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have made a profession of abusing the Nehru Gandhi Family. PM Modi himself has, in the past, called Sonia Gandhi as Congress Ki Vidhwa and even used filthy language like calling her Jersey Cow,” the AICC general secretary in-charge for Karnataka said.
Such language hurled at Sonia Gandhi, wife of a former prime minister who was martyred for the country, reflects the “absolutely debased and undignified character” of the BJP and its leadership, Surjewala alleged.
The Congress leader claimed the sad part is that all of this has the “tacit approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, J P Nadda and Basavaraj Bommai”.
“If Prime Minister has even an iota of decency or dignity, he should immediately expel Basanagouda Patil Yatnal from the Bharatiya Janata Party. Otherwise, it will be proved that the debased, ugly and deranged remarks being made by Yatnal against Sonia Gandhi are at the instance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai,” he said.
The party also demanded Modi and Bommai tender an unconditional public apology to Sonia Gandhi as also to the Congress leadership.
Congress General Secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal tweeted, “every election, they hurl new abuses to insult Smt. Sonia Gandhi ji, who has led her entire life with utmost dignity and grace. BJP continues to stoop to new lows, with their filthy language against our leaders. Modi ji, do you endorse these words? Yadha raja thada Praja (sic).”