New Delhi [India], December 1 (ANI): Amid the war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress over the 'Ravana' jibe hurled at Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the party's national president Mallikarjun Kharge, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday attacked PM over a "cheaper and crasser comment" against his predecessor Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Taking to Twitter, Ramesh said, "Should I remind Mr Modi of what he said on February 8, 2017 in Rajya Sabha about Dr Manmohan Singh-- that he knew the 'art of bathing with a raincoat on'?. Can there be a cheaper and crasser comment by any PM on his predecessor, and that too in the very temple of democracy?"Ramesh also retweeted a post by ANI on Prime Minister Modi's public meeting at Kalol, Panchmahal in Gujarat, amid the first phase of poling for the Assembly, on Thursday.
Hitting back at Kharge for comparing him with the mythical hydra-headed emperor in the epic 'Ramayana', the PM said there is a competition among Congress leaders on who can abuse him more.
The PM said, "I respect Kharge ji. He will say what he has been told to say. Congress party doesn't know that this is the Gujarat of Ram Bhakts. And, in this land of Rambhakts, he was asked to call me a Ravan with 10 heads."The PM further said that Congress does not accept Lord Ram's existence but invoked Ravan to abuse him.
"We know that Congress does not accept the existence of Lord Ram, does not believe in Ayodhya's Ram Mandir. They have a problem with Ram Setu as well. Now, this Congress party has invoked Ravan from Ramayana to hurl insults at me," he said.
The PM said he was amazed to see that none of the Congress leaders ever felt remorse or regretted the numerous abuses they heaped on him.
"I am not surprised at Congress saying bad things about me. I am amazed that even after saying so many bad things, neither the Congress party nor its leaders have never regretted their words about me. They feel it is their right to abuse Modi and the PM of this country," Modi said.
The PM further alleged that Congress leaders can do anything to please one family.
"If they believed in democracy, they would have never stooped to this level. They believe in one family and not democracy. They can do anything to please that one family and that family is everything to them, not democracy," the PM said.
"There is a competition in the Congress on who can hurl more insults at Modi...We have to teach them a lesson and the way to do so is to press the button on the Lotus symbol on December 5th (second phase of the Assembly elections)," the PM said.
"The Congress should understand that the more dirt it throws at me, the more the lotus will bloom," he added.
Campaigning for the Congress in Gujarat, Kharge had said, "In his campaigns, he (Modi) only talks about himself. 'Don't look at anyone else, just look at Modi and vote'... how many times do we have to see your face? How many forms do you have? Do you have 10 heads like Ravan?"Responding to the PM's counter on Thursday, the Congress national president said the BJP was playing up the issue to divert people's attention from real problems.
"By making this an issue, Modi is diverting people's attention from issues like unemployment, inflation, GDP growth, development and poverty," Kharge said.
Earlier, on Sunday, Kharge came down hard on the PM, terming him as a "leader of lies".
The counting of votes for Gujarat will take place on December 8. (ANI)