Jaipur: Congress on Thursday reacted sharply to the recent comments of Union minister S P Singh Bhagel against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, saying indecency has no place in democracy and civilized society.
Addressing a public meeting on Wednesday in Kharsan area in Udaipur's Vallabhnagar assembly constituency where a bypoll is scheduled, Baghel, who is the Union Minister of State for Law and Justice, called Gehlot a liar and went on to question the parentage of those who do not stick to their words.
Baghel also said that Gehlot was born on the day when a thousand liars had died.
Former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, Pradesh Congress Committee chief Govind Singh Dotasra, Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, and Health Minister Raghu Sharma condemned the remarks.
In Jaipur, Congress workers burnt an effigy of the Union minister and raised slogans against him while demanding an apology.
Highlighting the contents of the manifesto that the Congress came out with ahead of the 2018 Rajasthan assembly polls, Baghel alleged that the Ashok Gehlot-led government has failed to fulfil promises made to people.
"Gehlot ji, you had said that if the Congress forms government (in Rajasthan), you will give unemployment allowance" if you (people) have got it, just tell me," Baghel asked the people present there in the video clip posted on a social media account by Dotasra.
He also said that loan waiver and 24-hour electricity were promised in the manifesto and asked the people whether these promises have been fulfilled or not.
"So, I was saying that Gehlot would have been born on the day when a thousand liars died," he commented.
Slamming the Union minister, Pilot said indecent language has no place in politics and termed comments as undignified. He also said that Baghel should apologise to the public for his unrestrained statements.
During the public hearing at his residence, Pilot alleged that deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore also used derogatory words for Congress leader Rafique Mandelia.
He said ideological opposition is acceptable in politics but using such words not only hurts one's own credibility but sends a negative message to the public.
"The BJP leaders are using such language against Congress leaders which has no place in clean politics due to the fear of defeat in the by-elections," Pilot claimed.
Dotasra said that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre has forgotten how to maintain dignity.
"In clean politics, it is necessary to imbibe restrained language and values for criticism, but the Modi government has forgotten dignity," the PCC chief said.
Stressing that "such derogatory remarks will not be tolerated", Raghu Sharma said the BJP will have to "pay the price" in the bypolls.
"Nobody would like this kind of language against the chief minister of Rajasthan," he added.
Addressing a press conference in Udaipur, Khachariyawas attacked the Union minister and BJP, saying the impact of the statement will be visible in the results of the bypolls.
"You will not talk about the work done by the Modi government, you will not talk about inflation, fuel price hike but you will go to the parentage of the chief minister. This is not the insult of the chief minister, but the insult of the people of Rajasthan," Khachariyawas told the media.
He said the BJP had made several promises before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections which included bringing back black money and curbing inflation and questioned whether the promises have been fulfilled.
"He (Baghel) should tell whether black money has come (back)," he said.
Khachariyawas also raised the issue of leader of opposition Gulab Chand Kataria tendering an apology earlier this year after the BJP MLA's controversial remarks on Maharana Pratap triggered outrage.
"Congress is seeking votes in the name of developmental work done by Ashok Gehlot and BJP leaders are seeking votes in the name of lies and deceit," he said.
Earlier, Gehlot's officer on special duty (OSD) Lokesh Sharma said criticism in a democracy does not mean indecency, dishonesty, and bad manners.
Lokesh Sharma said the Union minister's utterances for Gehlot were very shameful. The people should think how low the Union minister will stoop to get publicity, he added.
Polling in Vallabhnagar (Udaipur) and Dhariawad (Pratapgarh) constituencies will be held on October 30 and counting of votes will take place on November 2.