Kalaburagi (Karnataka) | Just days after Congress president M Mallikarjun Kharge's "venomous snake" barb at Prime Minister, his son and former minister Priyank Kharge has called Narendra Modi ‘nalayak'.
Priyank, who is seeking reelection from Chittapur in Kalaburagi district in the May 10 Assembly polls, said the Prime Minister, while claiming to be a son of the Banjara community and promising to take care of them, was "inept" because he and his party had created confusion about reservations for the SC community.
“When you (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) came to Gulbarga (Kalaburagi) what did you tell the people of Banjara community? “Aap sab log dariye mat. Banjara ka ek beta Dilli mein Baitha hai (You do not be afraid. A son of Banjara is sitting in Delhi.)," said Priyank, quoting from Modi's speech.
"Aisa nalayak beta baitha to kaise hota bhai? Ghar kaise chalega?” (If an inept son is sitting in Delhi, how can you run the family?), he asked, addressing the people.
He went on to say, "What we are saying is that he said he is the son of the Banjara community and created confusion pertaining to the reservation. Didn't injustice happen to the Banjara community? Why were stones thrown at Yediyurappa's house in Shikaripura (in Shivamogga district)? Why Bandh was observed in Kalaburagi and Jewargi? Today there is confusion in the reservation." Priyank, who had been a minister in the Siddaramaiah government, said, "The Prime Minister during his earlier visit said he was a son of the Koli community and the Kabbaliga and Kuruba communities. Today he calls himself a son of the Banjara community." At the fag end of its term, the BJP government passed a bill to increase the reservation for the Scheduled Castes from 15 per cent to 17 per cent. The government said the internal reservation of SC (Left) now stood at six per cent, SC (Right) at 5.5 per cent and other SCs 5.5 per cent.
Mallikarjun Kharge, meanwhile, came to the defence of his son, saying he never made those comments.
“No. No. It is very wrong. He never said it. Don't put these words into his mouth. He attacked the parliament member who abused him (not Modi). So, don't put these words into his mouth (saying it was meant) for Modi. I am sorry, everywhere this is going on (misquoting) purposely. Morning he (Priyank) condemned it but still you people are asking," the Congress president said.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said: “In a state of despair of losing the election, he (Priyank) has forgotten his limits. A few days ago, his father withdrew his words. Now, it's his turn. People will teach them a lesson".