BJP mocks at DMK's 'Rahul for PM' pitch, says post not vacant
Chennai: The BJP on Tuesday mocked DMK over its pitch for Rahul Gandhi as the Opposition's prime ministerial candidate, with party general secretary Ram Madhav asserting the PM's post was not vacant for another 10 years.
He said DMK chief M K Stalin's proposal had not found resonance even within the parties the Congress wants in the proposed grand alliance.
On the Rafale deal, Madhav challenged the opposition to a debate in Parliament in the presence of all its members instead of seeking an "escape route" of a Joint Parliamentary Committee, which would comprise only 25-30 members.
Madhav said the Congress and other opposition parties were trying to stitch together a grand alliance by "propagating lies" over the Rafale deal.
"We are challenging the Opposition. If they are ready, let us debate it (the Rafale issue) in Parliament. They cannot take an escape route in the name of JPC and try and continue their propaganda of lies....this shall not be allowed."
"JPC is not more powerful than Parliament which is supreme," he told a press conference. Top BJP leaders have fanned across the country and are holding similar press conferences to present the party's stand on the contentious deal following the Supreme Court judgment that was seen as a "clean chit" for the Modi government.
Madhav deplored that despite the DMK's Sunday's event being a solemn occasion, where its late patriarch M Karunanidhi's statue was unveiled, it was used to "attack the government (Centre) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him names and naming the future PM".
"The post is not vacant for the next at least 10 more years. Soon after the announcement (by Stalin) that Rahul will be the prime minister, somebody elsewhere in the country said we are also in the queue...how you can say that he (Rahul) is the only person, I am also there," he quipped.
Responding to a question, Madhav said leaders of the "mahagathbandhan" like the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party skipped its events on Monday, apparently referring to the swearing-in ceremonies of the three Congress chief ministers.
"We do not know if (any) other thing is cooking...no single party in country has the courage or stamina to take on prime minister Modi or the BJP," he said, calling the opposition's unity efforts a "tamasha".
He claimed attempts were being made to "create negativity" about the prime minister in order to stitch together an broad-based alliance against the BJP. The BJP, he asserted, would forge a robust tie-up for the Lok Sabha polls to take on the Congress party that "thrives and survives on negativity, lies and wrong propaganda".
Targeting Stalin for his criticism of Modi and the Centre, he said, "I pity some leaders...khud naam Stalin (a reference to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin) hai... (and) he calls others fascists...We have seen the face of fascism in the state under the great DMK."
"It was better to look at their own faces in mirror rather than try to throw mud at great leaders like PM Modi ...this kind of language used against top leaders like the prime minister does not behove (them) well."
Accusing Modi of being indifferent to Tamil Nadu's needs following the devastation caused by cyclone 'Gaja', Stalin had called Modi a "sadist" and his government a "fascist regime". The BJP leader said since the DMK had joined hands with the Congress, it was using the latter's language.
"Company matters," he said.
On the Rafale deal, he said, the Congrss party and its "eternally young leader Rahul Gandhi" had for the past several months run a "campaign of lies and calumni" against Modi and his government, and in the process hampered the efforts of upgrading the armed forces' preparedness.
Borrowing from Modi's "Quattarocchi mama" jibe, Madhav alleged that the Congress was notorious for "corruption" in arms deals under its governments.
"It has a black history of selling India's national security interests to highest middlemen bidders. Some of them are their own mamas like Quattrocchi mama," he said.