BJP Targets Congress Over Modi Remark, Party Gives Clarification

Mumbai: Maharashtra state Congress president Nana Patole’s statement over Modi saying that he could “hit Modi” has triggered a war of words between the Congress and the BJP. The BJP has accused the Congress of indulging in “politics of terror” even as Patole issued a statement that the man he had referred to was someone else with the same surname, and not Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I have been in politics for the last 30 years. In five years, a politician can make enough to provide for his next generation. By building schools and colleges, they can provide for their future one or two generations. I have been in politics for so long yet I don’t own even one school nor have I taken any contracts. I help whoever comes to me for help. That’s why, I can hit Modi and abuse him and that is the reason why he came to campaign against me,” Patole can purportedly be heard in a video where he is addressing people in Bhandara.

Opposition leader, Devendra Fadnvis accused Congress of indulging in the politics of terror. “Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole says he can hit and abuse the PM. What is going on in Congress? The Congress, which led the freedom struggle, seems to have crossed all limits. Should we address the Congress as a party which believes in democracy or an organisation that is spreading terror?” he said.

Soon after the statement by Patole, Senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar demanded an unconditional apology from Patole. He said, “Patole’s statement against Modi shows insensitivity and irresponsibility…Patole should publicly apologise for his statement. He should admit that his statement against the PM was wrong and withdraw it immediately.”

Patole, however, said the man he was referring to was not the Prime Minister but another man from his constituency with the same surname. “There is a video being circulated which shows me using certain objectionable words against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The man I am referring to is not the Prime Minister but another person named Modi who is a criminal from my constituency,” he said on Monday.

He claimed that BJP leaders were mischievously alluding that the statement was meant for the PM. “Certain leaders such as Devendra Fadnavis and Chandrakant Patil are mischievously and deliberately trying to allude that this statement was meant for the PM. By doing so, they are the ones disrespecting the PM,” Patole said.

Patole returned to the Congress in December, 2017, after a stint with the BJP. He was elected as an MP from Bhandara Gondiya on a BJP ticket in 2014. He created a flutter in 2017 by publicly criticising Modi before resigning from the party.

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