Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday latched on to purported tweets by one Salman Nizami who he said was a Congress leader from Kashmir to tear into the opposition party for allegedly questioning his parentage.
The Congress, however, said it didn’t know anybody named Nizami.
“Salman Nizami kaun hai hum jaante hi nahi (We don’t even know who Salman Nizami is). He does not hold any position in the party. We can also say that there is some random person Ram Lal in BJP who said something,” Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said, addressing the media.
In a stinging attack on the Congress after former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar’s “neech aadmi” (lowly sort of a person) remark, Modi said a leader from the opposition party, who, he claimed, is a star campaigner for Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat, has sought to know who is his father and mother.
At an election rally at Lunawada, Modi said India was his father and mother, and like a good son, he will spend his entire life serving the country.
“There is one Congress youth leader called Salman Nizami, who is campaigning for Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat. He said on Twitter that Rahul Gandhi’s father (Rajiv Gandhi) and grandmother (Indira Gandhi) had sacrificed their lives, while his great grandfather (Jawaharlal Nehru) was a freedom fighter. Okay, very good, we do not have a problem with that,” Modi said.
“Then he (a reference to Nizami) went on to ask that Modi should answer who is his father and mother,” he said, quoting from the purported tweets of Nizami.
Modi disapproved of the use of this kind of language in public discourse. “Do we use this language in public discourse? Do we ask such things, this Salman Nizami is their star campaigner?” Modi said.
“What else has he tweeted, he is from Kashmir and he says he wants Azad Kashmir. He called Indian armed forces rapists,” Modi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Lashing out at Nizami, Modi said he has also glorified Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
“That person has further said in his tweets that ‘ghar ghar se Afzal niklega’. Afzal Guru was sentenced to death by our courts and this man wants every home to produce Afzal.
“Do you want Afzal in every home? Can you allow Afzals in Gujarat?” Modi asked the crowd at the rally in Lunawada, Mahisagar district, where the second phase of polling will be held on December 14.
“The person who has spoken such things is campaigning for Rahul Gandhi. Should we forgive such people? Is this not an insult to our armed forces. To call our armed forces rapist is not their insult? Should we forgive such people?” Modi asked repeatedly.
According to thequint.com, Nizami, who describes himself as a “Congress Politician/Writer” on Twitter, denied these accusations, asserting that he has never put out any anti-India tweets or statements, and that the tweets which were used by Modi to justify his allegations were fake.
“In the past, I have written against terrorism. Then how can I write such tweets? My account was hacked and those tweets did not come from me,” he told the website.
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said, “He is not even a primary member of the Congress party. I have no clue who he is.”
According to India Today online, there are some photographs in public domain showing Nizami with Rahul Gandhi and also with Priyanka Chaturvedi. “Several people come and take photographs and selfies with me,” Chaturvedi was quoted as saying by India Today..
Continuing his tirade over Aiyar’s “neech” remark against him, Modi had yesterday read out a laundry list of “abuses” poured on him by Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi and “her family members”.