Mumbai: Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for allegedly disrespecting their “gurus”, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today said he was the first one to visit ailing former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in hospital.
The Congress leader’s statement, at a rally here this evening, came even as the condition of Vajpayee, 93, admitted to the AIIMS in Delhi with urinary tract infection, lower respiratory tract infection and kidney issues, was reported stable.
Lauding Vajpayee, Gandhi told a gathering of Congress booth-level workers that the opposition party respected the BJP stalwart since it believes “he had contributed towards the country”. Attacking Modi, Gandhi said the Congress fought and defeated the BJP, led by Vajpayee and Advani, in 2004 and 2009 general elections.
“But the Congress party’s culture is to respect others. The prime minister talks about Hindu religion but forgets the important teaching of our religion about respecting the guru (mentor),” Gandhi said. “The prime minister doesn’t even respect his guru at official functions. It’s me, the Congress party and its ideology which accords him due respect. Even when Vajpayee is ill in hospital, I was the first to visit him as Congress believes he has contributed to the country,” Gandhi said.