In a shocking and insulting allegation, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of humiliating BJP veteran L K Advani, saying the former had kicked the latter out.
“BJP talks of Hinduism. In Hinduism, guru is supreme. It talks of guru-shishya tradition. Who is Modi's guru? Advani. Modi just kicked Advani out ('Joota marke stage se utara'),” said Rahul.
The Congress president’s swipe at PM Modi over the treatment meted out to Advani follows the BJP patriarch's blog published on April 4 where he said the BJP never considered its political adversaries as anti-national.
Responding to Advani's blog, PM Modi had said that the former has perfectly summed up the "true essence" of the party, particularly the mantra of 'Nation First, Party Second, Self Last'.
The remark was a veiled reference to Advani not getting Lok Sabha poll ticket from Gandhinagar, from where BJP has fielded party president Amit Shah instead.
Advani, 91, who has served as Union home minister and deputy prime minister, has won from Gandhinagar six times.
Credited for orchestrating the BJP's rise to a pre-eminent position in the late 80s and 90s along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee after it won only two Lok Sabha seats in 1984.
Advani was moved out of the BJP's highest decision-making body, Parliamentary Board, in 2014 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the party to victory and Shah was made its president.
He was made a member of Margdarshak Mandal (group of mentors), a body which has never met.
He did not make any representation to stake claim for Gandhinagar seat before the BJP observers.
The BJP veteran won from Gandhinagar for the first time in 1991, and retained the constituency in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014.
In 1996 he did not contest, citing the Babri Masjid demolition case against him.