The Congress has stepped up its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks and subsequent open challenge to the party to debate with him on the PM term of Rajiv Gandhi.
Taking to Twitter, Congress overseas chief and long-time Gandhi family aide Sam Pitroda has posted that over 200 teachers of Delhi University have condemned the Prime Minister for his remarks. He has shared a list of the teachers with their hand-written names and signatures. The statement they are signing says:
"History records the deeds of the good and the noble but rarely does it pay attention to the carping of lesser individuals. The achievements of the former PM Rajiv Gandhi are known to all. The nation acknowledges this in so many ways. When India beat back the invaders from Kargil, our soldiers shouted slogans praising Rajiv Gandhi for Bofor's gun even though Rajivji had been martyred a decade ago. As other random examples of his achievements the nation knows that if train travel is so much more convenient today it is because of his acumen in computerising rail reservation. If our IT companies earn, each year, billions of dollars in foreign revenue, it is because of the farsighted wisdom of Rajivji. If India is connected as a nation through advances in the telecom sector it is because of the policies and actions of Rajivji.
Narendra Modi has lowered the dignity of the office of the Prime Minister by making derogatory and untrue remarks about the late Rajivji who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation. No former PM has ever stooped to this level through such actions as Narendra Modi."
The raging controversy had been triggered on Saturday as the Prime Minister, while addressing a poll rally at UP's Pratapgarh, took on Congress president Rahul Gandhi saying, "Your father was termed ‘Mr. Clean’ by his courtiers but his life ended as ‘bhrashtachari’ (corrupt) number 1."
Responding to PM Modi's comments, Rahul Gandhi had taken to Twitter and reminded the Prime Minister of his "karma":
After the Congress raged incandescent at the reference, the Prime Minister on Monday held his ground and issued an open debate challenge: