New Delhi: A Karnataka BJP leader on Wednesday said that even though he respected Narendra Modi, he did not agree with the PM’s recent remarks targeting Rajiv Gandhi.
“The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) planned and assassinated Rajiv Gandhi,” ANI quoted former Union minister Srinivasa Prasad as saying. “He did not die due to corruption allegations. Nobody believes that, even I don't believe it. I have a lot of respect for Modi ji, but it was not necessary for him to speak against Rajiv Gandhi.”
Earlier this week at a rally, Modi targeted Congress President Rahul Gandhi on the Rafale issue and said, “Your father was termed 'Mr Clean' by his courtiers, but his life ended as 'bhrashtachari No 1' (corrupt number 1).”
Modi was referring to the allegations of corruption levelled against Rajiv Gandhi in the Bofors case. The claims were later dismissed by a high court.
The comment was criticised by the Congress and several Opposition ministers who said the statement lowered the dignity of the office of the Prime Minister. Over 200 Delhi University teachers also issued a public statement condemning the "derogatory and untrue" remarks about the former PM, who is no longer alive.
“Rajiv Gandhi took bigger responsibilities at a young age,” Prasad said on Wednesday. “Tallest personalities in politics, like (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee ji have spoken many good things about Rajiv Gandhi.”
However, Modi doubled down on his comments and has challenged the Congress to seek votes in the name of the late Prime Minister. At a rally in Delhi on Wednesday, Modi levelled another charge against Rajiv Gandhi, accusing his family of using warship INS Viraat as its "personal taxi" during his term in office.