Rahul Gandhi brewed a fresh Controversy on Monday after he referred to terrorist Masood Azhar as "Masood Azhar Ji" while making a campaign speech in New Delhi. Talking to Republic TV, Union Minister Smriti Irani condemned Rahul Gandhi's remark and said that Congress chief showing respect to a terrorist "signifies his and Congress party's state of mind with regards to the National security and terrorism".
"The fact that Rahul Gandhi holds a terrorist with such reverence, the fact that Rahul Gandhi has so much respect for a terrorist actually signifies to the entire nation that Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party's state of mind with regards to the National security and with regards to terrorism. The fact that Rahul Gandhi chooses to call Army chief a gunda and has so much respect for the terrorist that has been recognized world over and calls him Masood Azhar Ji is in itself significant to the people as to who stands and who loves terrorists and has respect for terrorist and disregard for armed force. It is not something that has escaped the citizen that Congressmen under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi has continued to doubt the capacity of the Indian forces to strike at the heart of terror in Pakistan. And today the respect is shown by Rahul Gandhi for the terrorist, I think is shameful if not the least".
Referring to the shocking statement byCongress' star campaigner Vijaya Shanti on Saturday where she compared Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of the country, to a terrorist, Union Minister said:
"For them to hold, in contempt, the highest offices of our country and has so much respect for the terrorists who are known the world over for killing of innocents in our country. That shows the real face of Congress. Jo dil mai hai vo zubban pe nikal gaya. Every martyr's family who will watch the comment will demand that justice is done. Every person who has served in the armed forces in the country today questions the Congress president".
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi's close aide and Congress media in-charge Randeep Surjewala rushed to firefight the controversy triggered by the Congress president using the words "Masood Azhar Ji".
In his tweet, Surjewala has accused the BJP and the media of knowingly making an issue out of the 'ji' honorific for the head of the terrorist outfit that perpetrated the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF Jawans were martyred.