Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Saturday said he did not make any "personal remark" about Narendra Modi, following criticism by BJP leaders over his "peeping into the private life" of the party's prime ministerial candidate.
Talking to reporters after filing his nomination papers here in Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi said he had made no attempt to talk about Modi's personal life but was merely "stating a factual position" as per the Gujarat chief minister's affidavit filed in Vadodara constituency.
Gandhi, who had spoken about Modi's marital status at an election rally April 11, refused to take any further questions on the topic.
Responding to queries from reporters, he denied making any personal remarks about Modi.
"I didn't make any personal remark, just stated the facts. I just said that he (Modi) has mentioned something not previously mentioned in his affidavits."
Congress leaders said the frontal attack by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders like Ravi Shankar Prasad and Arun Jaitley, who threatened to "wash dirty linen of the Nehru-Gandhis" in public, had forced a rethink on Rahul Gandhi's remarks and a decision was taken at the "highest level" to end it at that.
Party leaders said Rahul Gandhi's sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is overseeing the party campaign, was against any personal attacks and reportedly advised her brother not to get personal.
A senior party leader said that Rahul Gandhi's statement reflected the "unwritten code of conduct in parties not to get into the family domain".
The Congress vice president also took part in a roadshow.
Modi had written "Jashodaben Chimanlal" as the name of his wife in his affidavit while filing his nomination papers in Vadodara, Gujarat for the Lok Sabha election. In previous affidavits for the assembly elections, he had left the space blank.
Rahul Gandhi, who won from Amethi in 2004 and 2009, faces Bharatiya Janata Party's Smriti Irani and Aam Aadmi Party's Kumar Vishwas this time.