Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday, 11 March, kicked up a controversy after he referred to Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar as "Azharji" while addressing party workers in New Delhi. Attacking Gandhi, the Bharatiya Janta Party alleged that Congress "loves terrorists."
In retaliation, Congress Sevadal's official Twitter handle released a clip featuring Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in which the BJP leader purportedly addresses Lashkar-e-Taiba's Hafiz Saeed as "Hafizji."
भाजपा ने मसूद अजहर को जेल से आज़ाद किया, राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार अजीत डोभाल मसूद अजहर को सुरक्षित छोड़कर आए। मोदी सरकार ने वोटो के लिए सैनिको का जीवन दाव पर लगाया और मोदी जी के मंत्री आतंकवादियो के सरगना को "जी जी कह कर इज़्ज़त दे रहे है "ये कैसा देश प्रेम है ?#BJPkeHafijji pic.twitter.com/jV1dJEuiQ4— Congress Sevadal (@CongressSevadal) March 11, 2019
The video was picked up by other Congress supporters on Twitter. A user also shared a video of BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, in which he can be heard saying "Shri Hafiz Saeed."
We call Hafiz Saeed terrorist but Bjp Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad call him Hafiz ji ? pic.twitter.com/XYBNDoadbZ— Punjab Pradesh Congress Sevadal (@SevadalPB) March 11, 2019
If calling someone ji is showing love and respect to Terrorists then BJP is no different.— Roshan Rai (@RoshanKrRai) March 11, 2019
Here is Murli Manohar Joshi , a veteran BJP leader calling Hafiz Saeed as 'Shri Hafiz Saeed '
So BJP loves Terrorists? #RahulLovesTerrorists pic.twitter.com/uZ1Ixg0JbP
BJP Launches Fresh Salvo Over ‘Azharji’ Quip
While addressing booth presidents in New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Stadium on Monday, Gandhi hit out at National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and said, "Over 40 security personnel died in the Pulwama terrorist attack in Kashmir for which the responsibility was owned up by Pakistani terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.”
"It may be recalled that the chief of Jaish, Masood Azharji, who was in an Indian jail, was taken to Kandahar by NSA chief Ajit Doval during the previous BJP government, and set him free," the Congress chief said.
Soon after, BJP attacked Gandhi over his “reverence” for JeM chief Azhar, with Union Minister Smriti Irani wrote on Twitter:
What is common between Rahul Gandhi and Pakistan?— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) March 11, 2019
Their love for terrorists.
Please note Rahul ji’s reverence for terrorist Masood Azhar - a testimony to #RahulLovesTerrorists pic.twitter.com/CyqoZ7b9CF
Incidentally, Ravi Shankar Prasad had also lashed out at Gandhi over the “Azharji” remark.
Come on “Rahul Gandhi Ji”!— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) March 11, 2019
Earlier it were the likes of Digvijay Ji who called “Osama Ji” and “Hafiz Saeed Sahab”.
Now you are saying “Masood Azhar Ji”.
What is happening to Congress Party? pic.twitter.com/fIB4FoOFOh
Union Minister Giriraj Singh too slammed the Congress president for calling the wanted terrorist 'ji' – which is used in Hindi as a mark of respect for an individual.
कांग्रेसियों की एक बहुत खास बात है ...बहुत इज्जत देते हैं आतंकवादियों को। pic.twitter.com/JrD9dh4Iyx— Shandilya Giriraj Singh (@girirajsinghbjp) March 11, 2019
Complaint Lodged Against Irani at EC For Calling Rahul ‘Terrorist Sympathiser’
Meanwhile, former BJP campaign worker Shivam Shankar Singh said he has filed a complaint with the Election Commission over Irani allegedly "violating the model code of conduct."
I have filed a complaint with the Election Commission against Smt. Smriti Irani for violation of the Model Code of Conduct for posting a maliciously edited 6 second clip of @RahulGandhi and using it to claim that he is a terrorist sympathizer. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/3koSaiLU9d— Shivam Shankar Singh (@ShivamShankarS) March 11, 2019
Singh claimed that Irani had not only violated the code of conduct by calling Gandhi a "terrorist sympathiser" but the “edited clip” she had posted in the same tweet could be "deemed as spreading fake news."
Lets see how serious the election commission is about preventing the spread of such malicious content on social media. Will they act even when the offender is a Union Minister? 3/3 @SpokespersonECI— Shivam Shankar Singh (@ShivamShankarS) March 11, 2019
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