With Prime Minister Narendra Modi repeatedly targeting Rajiv Gandhi in his campaign speeches, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Thursday said abusing a martyred Prime Minister is the sign of "ultimate cowardice". Patel's counter attack came a day after Modi accused the Gandhi family of using warship INS Viraat as its "personal taxi" for a holiday when Rajiv Gandhi was at the helm.
"Rajiv ji lost his life due to their hatred and is no longer here amongst us to answer the baseless allegations and abuses which are being unleashed on him. Abusing a martyred Prime Minister is the sign of ultimate cowardice.," Patel tweeted. "But who is responsible for his assassination? The BJP backed V P Singh govt refused to provide him with additional security and left him with one PSO despite credible intelligence inputs and repeated requests," he alleged.
Congress leaders, including its president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, have hit out at Modi for his barb at their father, who was India's prime minister between 1984-89.
Earlier, Modi had dubbed Rajiv Gandhi as "bhrashtachari no 1" (corrupt no 1), in a reference to the Bofors scam.
Intensifying his attack against Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday had claimed that the former prime minister used warship INS Virat as ‘private taxi’ for holidaying. PM Modi, while addressing a huge gather at iconic Ramlila Maidan in the national capital, also asserted that even Navy personnel were put on service of Rajiv Gandhi and his family while they were vacationing at an island.
"At the time when, INS Virat was positioned for protection of maritime boundaries, it was sent to take Rajiv Gandhi and his family to an island for their holiday. Even his in-laws were onboard INS Virat. Was it not a compromise of national security?" PM Modi said. The prime minister, who said at that time INS Virat was positioned for protection of maritime boundaries, went on to claim that even Navy personnel were put on service of Rajiv Gandhi and his family while they were vacationing at the island.