Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Wednesday said Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra poses no threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi even if she contests against him from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. He also criticised Congress president Rahul Gandhi for creating a "fake narrative" against the BJP. "Someone is going to be there in the fray (from Varanasi). But Priyanka does not pose any challenge to Modi. The so-called 'mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) is already falling apart...," Naqvi said here.
"I am not even sure how many parties will contest against Modi in Varanasi, but the outcome is not going to be different. Modi will definitely win the seat," the BJP leader added.
There has been a speculation that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may take on Modi from Varanasi seat. She formally entered politics and was appointed the Congress general secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh in February.
Taunting Robert Vadra, the minority affairs minister said he appeared to have joined the Congress as party spokesperson.
"If Vadra can comment on Priyanka Gandhi's chances of contesting election from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, I think he is officially now the spokesperson for Gandhi and the party," Naqvi said.
On the Election Commission's ban on UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning over his alleged violation of model code of conduct, Naqvi said, "I think the ECI has misunderstood his comments. Yogi has simply replied to a comment saying 'Apako Ali achha lagata hai to hume Bajarangbali'. He has certainly not instigated communal hatred."
"A delegation of BJP, including myself, had gone to the ECI yesterday and presented our case regarding the same matter as Yogi is our star campaigner," he said. The EC had on Monday barred Adityanath from campaigning for 72-hours starting 6 am on Tuesday for his communal remarks.
Expressing his disappointment over Congress' criticism of the BJP over various issues, Naqvi said their allegations were "fake and fabricated". "Rahul Gandhi is solely responsible for such fake
narrative against the BJP. He has hardly got any proofs, but still keep projecting those issues as if it is the only truth," he said. "Under his leadership, the party is acting in a highly immature and irresponsible manner. The way Congress has been making claims on the Rafale deal, it is evident that this party does not know how to deal with sensitive issues," he said.
When asked about former BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha, who fiercely criticised the party, Naqvi said, "There are some freelance spokespersons of Congress who keep abusing party from time-to-time. In case of Shatrughan, it was apparent that he was shifting to some other party even when he was with BJP."
While Shatrughan Sinha quit the BJP and joined the Congress recently, Yashwant Sinha had last year quit the saffron party and floated an apolitical front to attack the Modi government.