In yet another “toolkit” controversy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Tuesday, 18 May, hit out at Congress, alleging that the latter wanted to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by labelling the new strain of COVID-19 as the “Modi strain”.
The Congress, however, dubbed the allegations as fake and said that they will file a complaint of forgery against BJP chief JP Nadda and spokesperson Sambit Patra.
The BJP had cited a purported toolkit and claimed that Congress was hand in glove with “foreign Journalists”.
“Disgusting to say the least ..Rahul Gandhi wanting to use this opportunity of Pandemic to destroy the image of PM Modi. Congress workers instructed to call the mutant strain as “Modi strain”. No stone left unturned to scar the name of India with the help of Foreign Journalists!! (sic)”Sambit Patra, BJP spokesperson
Patra also alleged that Congress extending help to the needy is "more of a public relations exercise with the help of friendly journalists and influencers than a soulful endeavour".
Other BJP Leaders Support Claim
Meanwhile, other BJP leaders, such as Hardeep Singh Puri, JP Nadda and Smriti Irani, too, participated in the attacks, claiming that when Congress highlighted the paucity of oxygen and hospital beds and criticised the Centra Vista redevelopment project, it was all driven by “hatred towards India”.
Congress Rubbishes the Aspersions
Chairman of All India Congress Committee (AICC) research department and national spokesperson of the party Rajeev Gowda said that the BJP was propagating a “fake toolkit” and attributing it to the research department of the party.
Rohan Gupta, chairman of the Congress’ social media department, told The Print that the toolkit was a fake document and that they would file a police complaint of forgery.
“The country is battling COVID-19 and the BJP is propagating fake news. This cannot be tolerated,” Gupta said.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi and Jairam Ramesh joined Gowda and Gupta in rubbishing the allegations. IYC national president Srinivas BV took to Twitter to express disappointment with the ruling party for making such claims.