In an apparent dig at Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday said that from the time Narendra Modi became the "chowkidaar" of the country, those touring foreign countries have started remembering the mother Ganga. Also hitting out at Priyanka Gandhi for not visiting the makeshift Ram Lalla shrine during her recent visit to Ayodhya, she said there is fear among the Congress leadership that if they do "pranam" to god in the temple, their votes will go away from them.
"Those people who gave affidavit in court.... Congress government in an affidavit told the court that there is no existence of Lord Ram; today they are roaming around the streets as Ram Bhakts," Irani said.
Addressing a BJP rally during her Lok Sabha polls campaign in Kolar, she said "Those who tour foreign countries, from the time Modi became the chowkidaar of the country have started remembering mother Ganga".
"Recently the Congress leadership, as per their election strategy, had announced to go to Ayodhya. They go to Ayodhya, but they don’t do pranam in the temple, they say if they do pranam to god their vote bank will go away from them,” she added.
Priyanka Gandhi had prayed at the popular Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya, but kept away from the Ram Lalla shrine. Her visit to Ayodhya, where the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site is located, came on the last day of her three-day trip to Uttar Pradesh. The Hanuman shrine ‘darshan’ was the latest in a series of temple visits by Priyanka Gandhi, who is in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh for her party.
Pointing out that farmers of Kolar who produce tomato in large numbers had stopped sending their produce to Pakistan, Irani took a dig at Congress President Rahul Gandhi, without naming him, who, she said, sought evidence for the Indian armed forces attack on terror hideouts in Pakistan.
"I want to bow down to Kolar’s farmers. I was told with pride by Muniswamy (BJP candidate) that tomatoes have stopped going to Pakistan. When farmers have stopped sending tomatoes for the pride of mother India, a Congress leader asks for evidence from the Indian army about the attack on Pakistan," she said.
"When Kolar’s farmers have given a befitting reply to Pakistan through tomatoes, there is a son of Congress who wastes his entire day asking for evidence," she added.
Hitting out at the Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka, Irani said, "I have seen them coming together, not for the people, but when Income Tax raids happen on the contractor’s residence". She asked why the Chief Minister was unhappy when raids are conducted on the corrupt and contractors, who are hiding black money.
Kumaraswamy, along with Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, CLP leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao on Thursday had staged a protest in front of the I-Tdepartment in Bengaluru, in the first such protest by the state chief minister in recent memory, against thedepartment’s searches at multiple locations in the state, allegedly against JD(S) workers.