Guj Cong, BJP trade barbs over "insult" to mother

Guj Cong, BJP trade barbs over "insult" to mother

Gujarat BJP President Jitu Vaghani welcomes Congress MLA P I Patel as he joins BJP in Gandhinagar. PTI file photo.

The war of words over the remarks against BJP Gujarat chief Jitu Vaghani by the Congress MLA Virji Thumar last week continued to dominate the political discourse in the state.

"The Congress has touched a new low in political discourse and are showing their true culture," Jitu Vaghani had said in reaction to Thummar's attack.

The Congress legislator from Lathi constituency in Amerli district, Thumar had attacked state BJP president Jitu Vaghani and made personal remarks for not attending the Nyay Maha Panchayat organised by Hardik Patel and his organisation Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) at Moti Malvan village in Surendranagar district on Saturday night.

Thumar, in his address to the gathering, had said that it appears that Vaghani, who also hails from the Patel community, was not born from the "womb of a Patidar" or perhaps his mother was not a Patidar.

This had enraged many in the ruling party and they have since been attacking the Congress stating that the Congress was disrespectful to mothers and women in general.

The BJP has held series of rallies and burnt effigies of Thummar across the state since Saturday last. They have been seeking a public apology by the Congress and the ouster of Thummar from the party.

The Congress in the state has been holding its ground. The Leader of Opposition in the state Paresh Dhanani even accompanied Thummar to the DSP office in Amreli to lodge a formal police complaint against BJP workers for holding a protest march and burning the effigy of Thummar outside his residence.

On Tuesday, Dhanani attacked the BJP while talking to the media, saying, "If any word by any of our members has hurt feelings of any mother, then I regret that. But the BJP is primarily raking up the issue to divert the attention of the people from the burning issue of high prices."

Thummar was also unapologetic, and though he said his intent was not to insult Vaghani's mother, he said the BJP chief had called the Patel community a "stooge" of the Congress.

"He too must apologise for his statements against the Patel community," Thummar said.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Tuesday announced that it would write a letter to the chief minister and the Speaker of the House to call a special one-day session to discuss Patel quota stir and the fallout of the agitation. The demand for this was raised at Nyay Maha Panchayat organised by Hardik last week.