Bengaluru, Oct 19: Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar, who retracted an "uncivil" tweet made by his party on Monday, has demanded an apology from his BJP counterpart Nalin Kumar Kateel for calling former AICC chief Rahul Gandhi a "drug addict and peddler".
While speaking at an event in Hubballi, Kateel claimed his remarks on Rahul were based on media reports. Congress leaders, however, condemned the statement, asking the BJP to sack Kateel.
"Yesterday I said I believe we should be civil and respectful in politics, even to our opponents. I hope the BJP agrees with me and will apologise for their state president’s abusive and unparliamentary remarks against Shri Rahul Gandhi," Shivakumar said in a tweet.
Kateel's remarks came as an apparent strike against Congress for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi "#HebbettuGiraakiModi" which translates into the belittling Hindi expression ‘angootha chhaap’ for an illiterate person.
Shivakumar regretted the tweet and said it was posted by a "novice social media manager". Shivakumar added that he always believed that civil and parliamentary language was non-negotiable in political discourse and that the tweet was "regretted and withdrawn."
Meanwhile, condemning Kateel's statement, AICC general secretary Dinesh Gundu Rao demanded that BJP remove Kateel from the post.
"Being a party president, he should not make such baseless statements and stoop to this level. It is shameful that a person with such a mentality is the state president of a national party," Rao said, calling Kateel "senseless" and as someone who had lost his "mental balance".
Lashing out at the ruling party, Rao further alleged that BJP was a corrupt party both financially and morally. "They have no principles. They take God's name for ulterior political motives," he said.
He urged Chief Minister Bommai to take control of what his party leaders were speaking.