Congress leader Ms. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's sharp attack over the Yogi Adityanath government's response to protests over the new citizenship law brought a stinging response from the Chief Minister and his deputy.
In a Hindi tweet Yogi Adityanath issued another warning of punishment. The tweet, translated, read: 'Anyone interrupting a sanyasi's continuous efforts for public welfare will be punished. Those who inherited politics and practice politics of appeasement would hardly understand the concept of service.'
At a press conference on Monday, Ms. Gandhi had taken on Yogi over the police crackdown on protesters - the arrests and detentions - and the threat of seizure and auction of their property. 'We will take badla (revenge)' on those indulging in destroying public property,' he had said.
Pointing out that the Yogi had donned saffron, a mark of 'religious and spiritual tradition', she said, 'There is no place for revenge, violence or anger in the country's soul'.
'This is the country of Lord Krishna - who was the symbol of compassion. Lord Ram was a symbol of compassion... When Sri Krishna gave sermon to Arjun during the Mahabharat war, he did not talk about revenge or anger. He only brought out the feelings of compassion and truth,' she said.
Yogi Adityanath's deputy, Mr. Dinesh Sharma was the first to hit back, accusing her of starting a 'clash of religions for your politics'. 'Yogi-ji has imbibed a religion. The Hindu religion never teaches to do any harm to anyone. Hindu religion does not speak about insulting any other religion. It is very huge and you are saying that a person (imbibing Hindu religion) is doing such a thing,' he said.