Jaitley also accused Gandhi of lowering his own credibility by “concocting a conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron”.
New Delhi: With reports pouring in that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had virtually stolen the show during the no-confidence motion on Friday with his hug and wink, the upper echelons of the BJP have swung into action to “discredit” the Congress scion and “neutralise” the impact.
While the Prime Minister took a dig at Mr Gandhi’s “unwanted hug” at a rally in UP on Saturday, Union minister Arun Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post that Mr Gandhi had missed a great opportunity as the no-confidence motion is a “serious business and not an occasion for frivolity”.
Mr Jaitley also accused Mr Gandhi of lowering his own credibility by “concocting a conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron”.
While attacking the Modi government on Friday for paying Rs 1,600 crore per fighter against the much lower price negotiated by the UPA (Rs 520 crore per jet), Mr Gandhi had said that PM Modi and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman had lied in claiming that a secrecy clause did not allow disclosure of the commercial aspects of the Rafale deal.
In a statement later, the French government had denied Mr Gandhi’s claim that Mr Macron had told him that there was no secrecy clause binding on the Rafale deal. Other BJP leaders also hit out at Mr Gandhi saying he lacks “capability” and “seriousness” to lead the Congress Party.
The Congress president, unfazed by the saffron rage coming his way a day after he created a flutter in Lok Sabha and beyond, said on Saturday that the only way to build a nation is by harnessing people’s love and compassion. He said Friday’s debate in Parliament was about the Prime Minister sowing “hate, fear and anger” in the hearts of some people to build his narrative, and the Congress would continue to counter that with love and compassion.
Saffron cyber gurus have expressed some concern that Mr Gandhi’s spontaneous and disarming gesture of hugging Mr Modi, soon after he had finished delivering his speech, became an instant hit on social media, an arena they have hitherto had under their control.
In his Facebook post, Mr Jaitley wrote, “None should ever trivialise the debate. Those who desire to be Prime Minister never blend ignorance, falsehood and acrobatics... If this was his (Gandhi) best argument for 2019, God help his party. His lack of understanding is not only confined to basic issues but also to the niceties of protocol.”
Mr Jaitley also wrote that one should never misquote a conversation with a head of government or a head of state because then “serious people will be reluctant to speak to you or speak in your presence.”
“Rahul Gandhi, by concocting a conversation with President Macron, has lowered his own credibility and seriously hurt the image of an Indian politician before the world at large. Not to be aware of the fact that UPA government minister had signed the secrecy pact is not understandable,” he wrore
BJP national spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao questioned his party’s former ally TDP’s motive behind the no-trust motion and added that none of the parties who had supported it highlighted the interests of Andhra Pradesh.
“TDP failed to really tell as to why it moved the motion...not only this, TDP also failed to unite the neighbouring state (Telangana) and the telugu brotherhood,” said Mr Rao.
On Mr Gandhi’s hug, he said, “Friability and flippancy are not a virtue in politics and he seems to have only friability and flippancy and none of the qualities required to lead even a political party like the Indian National Congress.”
The BJP claimed that the number one causality of the motion was the Opposition’s unity. The no-trust motion, BJP leaders said, had shown how “fractured” the “grand Opposition” is.