Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah's remarks equating the opposition partieswith animals, alleging that the "disrespectful statement" reflected his "mentality" that considered Dalits, tribals, minorities and even his own party leaders "worthless".
"Calling the entire opposition animals...see according to Amit Shah and the basic vision of the BJP RSS, there are only two non-animals in this country. There is Mr Narendra Modi and there is Mr Amit Shah," Gandhi told reporters at the Kolar Gold Fields in Karnataka.
"Everybody else, as far as they are concerned, areanimals. That's fine, that is the way they look at the world. It is a disrespectful statement, but we don't take what Mr Amit Shah says with too much seriousness," Gandhi said.
Taking a swipe at Shah, the Congress chief said it was the mentality that there were only two or three people in this country "who are worth anything, who understand everything and everybody else is a worthless person".
"It's not only Dalits, it's tribals, it's minorities. It doesn't stop there. It's Mr Advani, Mr Manohar Joshi, even Mr Gadkari, it's everybody," said Gandhi. "The thing is that the BJP people internally don't have guts to say it to you. They say it to us."
The Congress president said, "the fact of the matter is between Mr Amit Shah and Mr Modi, they are convinced, there are only two human beings in this country. That's all, that's the reality."
At a rally in Mumbai to mark BJP's foundation day on Friday, Shah had equated opposition parties to 'snakes' and mongoose' and 'dogs' and 'cats', who are seeking to unite despite their inherent differences to take on the BJP in next year's Lok Sabha polls.
Later, Shah clarified that his intention was not to equate opposition parties with animals.
At the rally, Shah had said, "The countdown for 2019 (polls) has begun. Attempts are being made for opposition unity. When huge floods occur, everything is washed away. Only a 'vatvriksha (banyan tree) survives and snakes, mongoose, dogs, cats and other animals climb to save themselves from the rising waters."
At a press conference, Shah later said, "What I meant was political parties having no ideological similarities are coming together out of fear of Modi."
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|