Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday hit back at BJP MP Rajyavardhan Rathore over his comments on new Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and said leaders of the saffron party should read history before speaking.
Rathore had on Wednesday called newly elected Congress president Kharge a "rubber stamp" and alleged that the party's internal polls to elect a new chief were a "fraud". In his response, Gehlot told reporters, "These people have no shame. New boys have come... they do not understand that they should read history and then learn to speak so that their image is not spoilt."
"They have no knowledge... what is a rubber stamp? Sonia Gandhi herself went to his (Mallikarjun Kharje) place yesterday (on Wednesday)." Kharge won the polls for the post of Congress president, the results of which were announced on Wednesday. He was pitted against Shashi Tharoor.
Gehlot, long known as a loyalist to the first family of the country's oldest party, added that if there was any leader in India who commanded respect, it was Sonia Gandhi. "She refused to become PM, got the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government formed at the Centre twice and also got many state governments formed," he said.
The Chief Minister also lashed out at BJP leaders questioning what happened in the 70 years after Independence and said everything that has happened has taken place in the 70 years. "Not even a needle used to be manufactured when the country got Independence. These people are misleading the public and youths. They are destroying the young generation in the name of religion and caste," he said.
The Chief Minister also targeted Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur over his comment on the old pension scheme and said he had once advised the BJP leader to examine the scheme and introduce it in his state in the interest of government employees.
(With PTI inputs)