Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded apology from Congress party leader Beni Prasad Verma over his "murderer" remark against prime ministerial frontrunner Narendra Modi, dubbed him as "history-sheeter as well as a repetitive offender at every election campaign and sought cancellation of his nomination.
BJP Spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman, hit back at the Congress and asked it to come clean on the matter, adding that Verma's remarks were in line with the Congress' "desperate" strategy of unleashing personal attacks.
Addressing a news conference, Sitharaman termed Verma's utterances as "despicable", adding that it will approach the Election Commission to seek cancellation of his candidature.
"We demand that the Congress party come out in open that they are in support of Mr.Verma or they apologise. In fact the demand from BJP to the Election Commission when they give us the appointment would be to cancel his nomination. Someone who has held a position of a cabinet minister Steel Ministry, knowing very well that he does not have a prima facie, goes about charging such despicable allegations. We will demand that the Election Commission understands and take cognizance of the fact the here is the repeat offender who is abusing a constitutional body and challenging it," said Sitharaman.
Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma while speaking in Lucknow, alleged that Modi committed murder at the age of 18 and ran away from home. He also alleged that several criminal cases were registered against Modi at various police stations in Gujarat, but he "took care of them" when he became the chief minister.
Dubbing Verma as "history-sheeter", Sitharaman said that his allegations showed that the Congress' poll campaign had reached "absolute bottom".
Reacting to the comment, Sitharaman accused Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi of being a "hypocrite" as he campaigned for party's Saharanpur candidate Imran Masood after denouncing his remark on Modi.
"Beni Prasad Verma with due respect is a 'history-sheeter', in the sense that during election campaigns, he is a repeat offender. He is always been doing these kind of things in every election campaign and not just him, there is a pattern that with due respect, president of the Congress party (Sonia Gandhi) and the son vice president (Rahul Gandhi) of the congress party are also going around the entire campaign all over the country raising issues which almost amount to untruth," added Sitharaman.
Sitharaman also launched a scathing attack on Junior Education Minister, Shashi Tharoor, who had remarked that "India does not need 'a bleeder or a pleader" as a Prime Minister.
"Shashi Tharoor, another minister uses the expression bleeding leader, what is this kind of a language? I ask Shashi Tharoor, who has been in the cabinet. Where was his kindred heart when the soldiers were bleeding attacked by our enemies? If indeed bleeding is what is worrying him and he doesn't want leaders who make the country bleed, where was the Congress party's leadership, where was Shashi Tharoor" Sitharaman said.