The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has criticized Rahul Gandhi for his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, bringing up his mother’s “maut ka saudagar” (merchant of death) comment. Gandhi had appeared to blame Modi for India’s loss in the cricket World Cup final and referred to him as “Panauti Modi” (bad omen Modi) during a rally in Rajasthan. The BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad called Gandhi’s comments “shameful, condemnable, and disgraceful,” while Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekar accused him of desperation and mental instability.
Chandrashekar took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his disapproval, stating that Gandhi, who is 55 years old, had never worked a day in his life and that his family had exploited the country like parasites. He also blamed Gandhi’s government for the economic downfall of the nation. Chandrashekar emphasized that Modi is highly regarded as a political leader and has transformed lives and earned respect both in India and around the world.
Prasad, speaking to news agency PTI, strongly condemned Gandhi’s comment and attributed it to frustration over the Congress party’s losses in the Assembly polls in Rajasthan and other states. He demanded an apology from Gandhi and warned that the BJP would take the issue seriously if an apology was not forthcoming. Prasad referred to Gandhi’s remark as a display of his true colors and understanding.
The term “Panauti” started trending on social media after India’s defeat against Australia in a cricket match attended by PM Modi at a stadium named after him in Ahmedabad. Despite the loss, Modi consoled the players and reminded them of their previous victories.
The response to the controversy is still awaited.