The gloves are off in the campaigning for the May 10 Assembly elections in Karnataka. None other than Congress president Mallikarjuna Kharge stirred up a hornet’s nest by likening Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ‘a poisonous snake’.
At a rally in Gadag in north Karnataka, he said: “Don’t make a mistake! Modi is like a poisonous snake. If you start wondering, is it poisonous or not, and you lick it, you’re dead. You might think: No, no, this is not poison because Modi has given it, Prime Minister is a good man and he has given it, let's try it -- if you lick that poison then you will go to sleep forever".
The BJP was quick to hit back. BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya said the abysmally low level of public discourse was a sign of “desperation” and it showed that the Congress is losing Karnataka.
“Now, Kharge is calling Prime Minister Modi a ‘poisonous snake.’ It all started with Sonia Gandhi’s ‘maut ka saudagar’ remark, and we know how it ended for the party, the Congress continues to plummet to new depths. It shows the Congress is losing ground in Karnataka and it knows that,” Malviya tweeted.
Kharge eventually retracted his comment over Modi
Facing flak over his comments, Kharge was quick to retract. He clarified, saying “the Bharatiya Janata Party is like a snake. If you try to lick you will eventually die. I didn't talk about him (PM Modi). I don't make personal statements. I meant to say their ideology is like a snake. If you try to lick it, death will be inevitable.”
There were few takers for the retraction. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said "hate is coming out" dismissed Kharge’s clarification, saying he is trying to "wriggle out". Union Minister Nityanand Rai said that the Congress party is a serial offender and loses no opportunity to defame the Other Backward Classes and the PM.
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