Mumbai: The Congress’s Maharashta unit on Friday reacted sharply to BJP President Amit Shah’s remarks comparing the Opposition parties in the country with animals. In a strong statement, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said “the Opposition is an equally strong arm of the legislature as the ruling party and must be treated with the respect it deserved.
“In a democracy, we can’t stoop down to the level of being unparliamentary in our language. It (the Opposition) cannot be ridiculed to get cheap air time.” Referring to Shah’s comments that the Opposition parties unity efforts are akin to “snakes, mongooses, cats, dogs, leopards and lions” coming together during a natural calamity like floods, the Congress leader said the BJP leader should first look at the track record of his own great leaders in 1975 “who formed a collective opposition against Congress rule”.
“Is he calling them rats, mongoose and so on as well..? (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi is a calamity for this country,” Nirupam retorted. Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan attacked Shah for his comments during the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally here this afternoon, saying that “the people of the country will no longer tolerate the lies and ‘jumla-baazi’ in 2019”.
“The BJP came to power with false promises and utter lies, the country’s social fabric and integrity is under threat, the economy is in ruins along with unemployment, foreign policy, agriculture, internal security. Given this, the BJP will be thrown out of power in 2019,” he said.
“What is the BJP celebrating – its string of failures in government, or the suicides by 13,000 farmers in Maharashtra, converting Mantralaya (the state government headquarters) into a ‘suicide point’? And from where did they get crores of rupees for this jamboree – from Nirav Modi or Vijay Mallya,” he asked.
Both Nirupam and Chavan challenged Shah’s claims of providing “a corruption-free administration” by saying “16 to 21 ministers in the state government” have serious charges of corruption against them. “However, (Chief Minister Devendra) Fadnavis is protecting them and Shah, atop the mountain of corruption and speaking of transparency and corruption-less governance, which is ‘a joke’,” said Chavan.
Nirupam said the CM is struggling to answer questions regarding the rat killing scam or the tea scam, while Chavan said that before the BJP demands an account of the four generations of Congress rule from Rahul Gandhi, they must remember that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru spent 10 years in jail during the freedom struggle, and Indira Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi sacrificed their lives for the country.
“The same cannot be said about anybody from the Sangh Parivar and it was because of the struggles and sacrifices that a tea-seller could become the Prime Minister. However, the BJP did not even spare tea in committing its scams,” Chavan said.
He claimed that witnessing the response of the BJP activists at the 38th Foundation Day rally on Friday, it is clear even the party workers are resigned to the BJP’s ouster in 2019.