Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi saying that he was pained by the routine targeting of him on the issue of democracy. Modi’s comments came just days after Gandhi launched a blistering attack on the prime minister accusing him of murdering democracy in India.
Launching the Ayushman Bharat scheme for health insurance coverage to all residents of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said, “I want to express my pain before the country today. Jammu and Kashmir has completed a three-tier panchayat elections successfully within a year of it becoming a union territory… But, a few people in Delhi keep using foul language against Modi. They keep teaching me new lessons on democracy every day. I want to show them the mirror today.”
Modi said that panchayat and municipal elections were not being held in Puducherry despite the Supreme Court’s order. “Friends, people, who are teaching me lessons on democracy every day, have their government in Puducherry,” Modi said, adding that the last time local body polls were held in Puducherry was in 2006.
Gandhi had recently said that there was no democracy in India under the Modi government. Calling Modi an incompetent man, who doesn’t understand anything, Gandhi had said that the prime minister was being controlled by a selected few crony capitalists. The Congress leader had said that even RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat would be declared a terrorist if he decided to speak against the prime minister.
Gandhi had told reporters, “Narendra Modi and the BJP have only one goal. Farmers and labourers have understood that. The goal is that Narendra Modi will work towards making money for three-four crony capitalists, who are close to him.”
Gandhi added that anyone raising their voice against Modi is slandered with name-calling. “If farmers raise their voice, they are called terrorists. If labourers raise their voice, they are declared terrorists. One day if Mohan Bhagwat raises his voice (against Modi), he too will be declared a terrorist,” Gandhi had said.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping for a month at the Delhi border demanding the withdrawal of the three Farm Laws. Modi has come under severe criticism for turning a blind eye to the farmers’ agitation.