Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took a dig at the culture of dynastic politics, apparently targeting the Congress by taking a veiled swipe at Sonia Gandhi's controversial son-in-law Robert Vadra. Soon after, Congress vice-president and Vadra's brother-in-law Rahul Gandhi reciprocated, saying "56-inch chest will shrink to 5.6 inches".
Modi, who was in Jammu to commemorate the birth centenary of late Congress leader Girdhari Lal Dogra, hailed him for his contributions to the society without indulging in nepotism. He said the nation's heritage is common to all.
Reviving the controversy over "usurping" the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, as alleged by the Congress a few months ago, Modi disapproved of "political untouchability", saying the national heritage should not be divided and all leaders who have worked and died for India should be given equal regard irrespective of their ideologies and affiliations.
The prime minister said Dogra was a tall leader of Jammu and Kashmir who presented 26 budgets as the state's finance minister but never did any favours to his family members, including his son-in-law Arun Jaitley, who is a senior BJP leader and now the Union Finance Minister.
"Both (Dogra and Jaitley) took their own routes in public life. But today, we know what kind of talk is going on because of sons-in-law," Modi said apparently referring to Vadra, who has been embroiled in controversies over his shady land deals in Haryana.
Azad's remark triggers Modi's son-in-law jibe
Modi's comments came after Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former chief minister of J&K Ghulam Nabi Azad said Dogra was "24 carat Congressman", who never "compromised with regionalism, casteism and communalism".
Rahul Gandhi attacks Modi
Meanwhile, addressing a meeting of Congress workers in Jaipur, Rahul Gandhi taunted the prime minister by saying that his "56-inch chest will shrink to 5.6 inches".
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"In the run up to elections, he made several promises for farmers, most of those hollow ones. Now that he has become prime minister, why should he be concerned about farmers... We will not allow the passage of the land bill in Parliament. We will not give away a single inch of land to this government," Gandhi said targeting Modi.
Continuing with his attack on the BJP, the Congress vice-president, who has been travelling across the country holding roadshows and rallies over the land bill issue, launched a scathing attack on the Vasundhara Raje government over the chief minister's links to former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi.
"There is no Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan. It is a Lalit Modi government. It is being remote-controlled from London," Gandhi said as he also accused the prime minister of keeping silent on such matters.