Amid an ongoing war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar on Tuesday, 19 October, said that the BJP should apologise for its remarks against Rahul Gandhi, wherein Gandhi had been called "a drug addict and a drug peddler".
"Yesterday I said I believe we should be civil and respectful in politics, even to our opponents. I hope the BJP agrees with me, and will apologise for their state president’s abusive and unparliamentary remarks against Shri Rahul Gandhi," DK Shivakumar said in a tweet.
Earlier on Tuesday, BJP Karnataka chief Nalin Kumar Kateel had, alluding to the Congress, stated, "Your G-23 says Sonia Gandhi is not president. Sonia Gandhi says she is president. On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi says he will become president. Tell me what is Rahul Gandhi? Rahul Gandhi is a drug addict and drug peddler... I'm not saying this, it has appeared in news reports."
Kateel's comment came in retaliation after the Karnataka Congress had taken a jibe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him "angootha chhaap" (illiterate).
"This is the lowest standard of politics. They have used derogatory remarks against the Prime Minister of this nation. Not only do the people of India love Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even the President of America also respects Narendra Modi," Kateel said about the barb.
A tweet posted by the Karnataka Congress on Monday, 18 October, sparked controversy after it referred to Modi as 'angootha chhaap' or illiterate.
"Congress built schools but Modi never went to study. Congress even set up schemes for adults to learn, Modi didn't learn there too. People who chose to beg for a living despite beggary being prohibited are today pushing citizens to beggary. Country is suffering because of "#angoothachhaap modi," the Karnataka Congress had tweeted in Kannada on Monday.
Merely hours after the tweet was posted, Karnataka Congress President Shivakumar had expressed his regrets over the "uncivil tweet" and noted that it had been withdrawn.
"I have always believed that civil and parliamentary language is a non-negotiable prerequisite for political discourse. An uncivil tweet made by a novice social media manager through the Karnataka Congress official Twitter handle is regretted and stands withdrawn," he had said.
The verbal battle between the parties comes at a time when the state Assembly bypolls for two seats, Sindagi and Hangal, are fast-approaching.
(With inputs from ANI.)
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