RJD, SP growl at Gadkari

BJP chief retracts his bootlicker dog jibe; Yadavs reject apology

RJD, SP growl at Gadkari

At a rally in Chandigarh on Wednesday, Gadkari had likened Lalu and Mulayam to “dogs who lick the feet of the Congress”. The BJP leader also lambasted them for backing off from voting in favour of the cut motion brought by the BJP in Parliament on the price rise issue.

“If my utterances have hurt their feelings, I take back my words,” Gadkari said during a press conference in Chandigarh. Gadkari said his statement was only meant as an analogy and that it had been misunderstood. He added that he had a lot of respect for Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh.

However, the apology hasn’t mollified the Yadavs. “I don’t believe in empty apologies. These days, it has become a fashion among politicians to criticise their rivals and then tender an apology. We have taken a serious note of his comments which are derogatory, ridiculous and cheap.

“Gadkari needlessly used shameful words. Called us dogs who lick feet. Former BJP chiefs, including L K Advani, have never used such shameful words even though they severely criticised us. We are taking it seriously,” Lalu said.

Protests

Even as Gadkari was addressing the media at the Chandigarh Press Club, a group of local RJD activists gathered outside and raised slogans against the BJP and Gadkari. “Gadkari crossed all limits of decency. Such degeneration of political discourse by the leader of a national party is unfortunate,” said a local RJD leader.

In Uttar Pradesh, the SP workers damaged vehicles and clashed with the police while staging protest demonstrations. They burnt effigies of Gadkari in Lucknow and Allahabad. In Lucknow, police had to use force to disperse the rampaging SP workers who also clashed with the police and targeted vehicles.

The SP workers barged into the BJP office in Allahabad town and roughed up BJP workers besides damaging furniture, police said. Security has been beefed up at the BJP offices across the state.

Meanwhile, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son and Uttar Pradesh SP unit president Akhilesh Yadav virtually pardoned Gadkari. “He (Gadkari) has withdrawn his words and expressed regret and so the matter ends there,” Akhilesh told reporters here.

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