New Delhi, Apr 12: The ruling BJP on Friday launched two-pronged attack on Congress. President Rahul Gandhi for his repeated 'chowkidar chor hai' scathing criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought intervention of the Election Commission on the matter.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters "We feel let down" that Election Commission chose to look the other way in spite of "our earlier complaints against Rahul Gandhi on the same issue". A BJP delegation comprising Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Ms Sitharaman, Nalin Kohli and Anil Baluni met the poll panel and made a submission on the issue and also about poll-related violence during polling in Cooch Behar in West Bengal.
"We approached the EC today as Congress president Rahul Gandhi is using abusive and strong statements which are totally untrue and calling the honourable Prime Minister and that also repeatedly that he is a chor (thief)," Ms Sitharaman said. She accused that Mr Gandhi has virtually gone to the extent of "putting words in the mouth of the Supreme Court".
"We have taken objections to these and we have approached the EC several times before....on March 13, April 9 and April 11 as to how inspite of the December verdict by the Supreme Court, repeatedly the Congress president has called the Prime Minister a 'chor'," the Defence Minister said.
She further said "without any evidence", the Congress chief has been saying that Prime Minister has given Rs 30,000 crore to businessman Anil Ambani. "We drew the attention of the EC that both the Supreme Court and the CAG have not said anything like that," she said adding Mr Gandhi on the Wednesday's verdict of the court attributed that the Supreme Court has such things.
"He has gone to say Supreme Court 'ne maana (admitted) that Modi has given Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani. This is not true," she maintained."We feel let down that the EC had not taken this into their cognizance," she maintained.Earlier in the day, to mount pressure on Mr Gandhi, BJP lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi approached the Supreme Court with a plea to initiate contempt proceedings against the Congress leader.
Ms Lekhi told reporters: "......this is not only contempt but a criminal contempt of court. That is misquoting, misrepresenting the facts in public and making allegations and accusations about the Supreme Court order and it is for this reason the contempt has been filed today". She said: "All the statements that are coming in the public through media recording and publications, we have annexed. Repeatedly an attempt has been made by Rahul Gandhi to replace to own words as court's verdict".
The BJP sources said they would now prefer a sort of rebuke or cautioning from the poll panel asking Mr Gandhi not to repeat his pet phrase 'chowkidar chor hai' against the PM on Rafale aircraft row as there is already a court verdict. It may be mentioned here that BJP used the Congress attack and launched a massive nationwide campaign -- "Main bhi chowkidar hoon".
All top BJP leaders including the likes of Prime Minister Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Ram Madhav and Union Ministers changed their 'user name' in their Twitter handle by prefixing the word 'Chowkidar'. Union Minister Mr Naqvi said the BJP delegation apprised the Election Commission on Bengal violence and demanded that actions must be taken against 'goonda gardi' of Trinamool Congress during first phase of polling on Thursday in Cooch Behar.
"There were gross rigging in some booths and we provided the details," he said adding there should be repolling in some of them.
"EC must also ensure deployment of at least two central force personnel in every booth," Mr Naqvi said. (UNI)