Chidambaram's criticism of EC part of 'save Rahul' campaign: BJP

Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi

Union minister Smriti Irani today hit back at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his comments referring to a court barring a news portal from publishing articles on a company owned by Amit Shah's son, saying a person "out on bail" was "mocking" the courts.

Earlier, Gandhi had tweeted "Mitron, Na Shahzade ke baare me na kuchh bolunga, na kisi ko bolne dunga" [Friends, neither I will speak against the son of Amit Shah nor I will let anyone speak].

The Wire had published a report on October 8 in which it was said that the turnover of the Jay Shah's company increased by 16,000 times after the NDA government came to power. The Congress has sought an inquiry into the issue by sitting Supreme Court judges. Mr Gandhi and the Congress have repeatedly questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue.

The BJP said on Friday that Congress leader P Chidambaram's criticism of the Election Commission for not announcing Gujarat poll dates was part of the party's "save Rahul" campaign as it fears that a defeat in the election will stall his elevation to the post of party chief. His tweets implied BJP was being allowed to lavish Gujarat with sops before the election date was announced. Speaking to reporters in Gandhinagar, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani said: "Chidambaramji and the Congress are scared of the coming (Assembly) elections. And criticising the Election Commission is not the right thing in a democracy". It's like questioning the prudence of the EC. The verbal fight is likely to intensify after Rahul Gandhi launched scathing attacks on BJP ahead of assembly elections in Gujarat.

"Chidambaram seems to view the EC from his jaundiced eyes. PM Modi is a quintessential democrat and does not interfere in the functioning of any institutions", Rao said. The Congress alleged that the Centre had put pressure on the EC to delay the announcement of dates for the Gujarat elections.

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