Rahul Gandhi ticks off Dikshit, as BJP demands apology

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Rahul Gandhi ticks off Dikshit

Rahul said the Indian Army works for the country and there was no need for any political leader to make comments against its chief

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Monday disproved of party leader Sandeep Dikshit’s remarks, likening Army Chief General Bipin Rawat to “sadak ka gunda (roadside thug)”, after the BJP demanded an apology from no less than its chief Sonia Gandhi. Addressing a gathering in Bengaluru, Rahul said the Indian Army works for the country and there was no need for any political leader to make comments against its chief.

Undeterred by Rahul ticking off his party leader, the BJP reiterated its demand for an apology from the Congress leadership. Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called the comments shocking and outrageous in a news conference here, setting the stage for a bigger confrontation. “The Congress consistently, in a pattern, questions the integrity of the Indian Army… questions the Army, to name them and shame them and demoralises them. A responsible party allows its well-known faces to go haywire and doesn’t bother about coming out clean on what its approach it about the Indian Army,” she said.

The Congress was also quick to distance itself from the remarks of Dikshit, who, also withdraw his comments and apologised, “Ours is not a mafia army like the Pakistani army which makes statements like the goons on the street. It looks bad when our Army chief gives a statement like ‘sadak ka goonda’ (goon on the street),” the former Congress MP and son of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said.

“Someone from the press told me today that a Congress leader has made comments about the Army chief. This is absolutely wrong,” Rahul said while addressing a Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee meeting. “People should not make any comments against the Army chief. I want to make it clear that the Indian Army works for us, it protects India. There is no need for any political leader to make comments against the Army chief,” he said.

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