Bhopal | Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday equated the meeting of Opposition parties in Patna with “animals" perching on a tree to save themselves from "flood" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity, the remark evoking a sharp reaction from Congress.
In a dig, Chouhan also said the only conclusion of the joint meeting was the “marriage of Rahul Gandhi”.
Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath deplored the use of “abusive and low-level language" used by Chouhan.
“What is the conclusion of the opposition unity? I have only heard that Lalu Yadav ji saying (to Rahul Gandhi) that 'your mother is complaining a lot that you are not getting married.. become a groom, we will join the marriage procession'," Chouhan told reporters in Gwalior when asked about the meeting.
On the consensus candidate of the Opposition, Chouhan said there is no clue who the "groom" is and where is the marriage procession.
"Many animals sit together on a tree to save their lives during a flood. You (the opposition) will sit on the same tree...there are frogs, snakes and monkeys too because there is flood water below. There is such a flood of support and popularity of Modi ji that all of them are trying to climb a tree,” he said.
Chouhan said Modi is the most popular leader in the world and used a Hindi proverb to claim that the Opposition unity will not hold despite repeated attempts.
Reacting to Chouhan's statement, Nath said the BJP leader has crossed the decency of language in politics.
"You called the opposition snakes, frogs and monkeys. You have been using abusive words and low-level language for the last several days,” Nath tweeted.
He claimed people have started hating Chouhan over his language.
“When you call us snakes, the public will consider us as Lord Shiva's
necklace. When you call us monkeys, the public will consider us as the Vanar Sena (monkey army) of Lord Ram who destroyed Lanka for Ravana's sins,” Nath said.
He said Congress will not leave the path of truth and dignity despite the abuse.
"I pray to God to grant you wisdom and tolerance”, Nath added.
In a crucial meeting held in Patna on Friday, Opposition parties resolved to take on the BJP unitedly in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
During the press conference after this meeting, RJD supremo Lalu Yadav suggested Rahul Gandhi get married.
“Rahul Gandhi didn't follow my suggestion earlier. He should have married before. But still, it's not too late," Yadav had quipped while expressing the desire to attend the marriage procession.
Indore | Union minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani on Saturday took a jibe at the meeting of opposition parties held in Patna, saying "wolves hunt in packs".
She also alleged that the target of Friday's opposition conclave was not Prime Minister Narendra Modi, "but the people of the country and the exchequer".
"As soon as I came to Indore, the media asked me what was my reaction to the Opposition's gathering in Patna yesterday. ..so people say in English that wolves hunt in packs," Irani said.
She was speaking at an event organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party to mark the completion of nine years of the Modi government.
Prominent women from Indore were invited to this programme.
“There has been a gathering (of Opposition parties), but its target was not Modi, but you (the public) and India's treasury," Irani claimed.
"I know that when a person casts an evil eye on treasury....just alert the woman of the house and the enemy automatically fails," the Women and Child Development minister added.
At the Patna meeting, a total of 17 opposition parties resolved to fight the 2024 Lok Sabha elections unitedly to defeat the saffron party and work with flexibility by setting aside their differences.
Irani said India's credibility in the world has increased due to the US visit of the prime minister and cited announcements made by various foreign companies to invest in India.