Bokaro/New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha on Saturday compared Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi to a horse which carries the groom to his wedding, drawing strong reaction from the Congress which said that the Opposition party should be worried more about the corruption charges against its president Nitin Gadkari.
In Bokaro for a meet, Yashwant said, "Rahul Gandhi is like a horse which carries the groom on its back at weddings." "The horse is always stuck at one place. It does not move. Similarly, Rahul Gandhi also does not move. Many efforts are being made to get him to do something, but he doesn't. Some try to push him but he still refuses to move. Till the time he isn't ready, how can Manmohan Singh do anything? This is the crisis today," the BJP leader added.
Strongly reacting to Sinha's remark, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said in Delhi that the BJP leader should first state whether he considers Gadkari as his party's chief or not. Attacking Sinha, Congress leader and Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said it would be good for Sinha and BJP if he focussed on problems being faced by his party.
"We have a lot of respect for Sinha... But with regard to BJP's own issues, it might be good for him and also BJP if he focusses his attention on them," Tewari said apparently referring to Gadkari in the wake of allegations of dubious funding of his Purti group.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said if Sinha comments on Gadkari and the plight of BJP, then it will be appropriate. "Manmohan Singh is the country's Prime Minister and belongs to the Congress party. Yashwant Singh should be worried about the situation faced by BJP. If he makes comment on Gadkari and the plight of BJP, then it will be appropriate," Sharma said.
Another Congress leader Jitin Prasada, who is Minister of State for HRD, said Sinha should concentrate on his national President and what he is up to rather than focussing on Congress party. "As far as what Sinha has stated, Manmohan Singh has got the mandate of this country. And we won with him the election and we have got a mandate for five years. "I think he (Sinha) should better focus on his national President and what he is up to rather than focussing on our party," Prasada said.
Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit said Rahul Gandhi, who had led the party to victory in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, has established his leadership. "And I think BJP should well be aware of the fact that as his (Rahul's) leadership is growing, his influence is growing, his strengthen is growing....BJP will itself come to know when he will really come on the ground," he said.
(With additional information from PTI)