New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remark that it was a party for Muslim men only highlighted his "sick mentality".
PM Modi during his speech in Azamgarh on Saturday had come down heavily on the Congress over its stand on triple talaq, asking if it was a party for Muslim men alone. "The prime minister has continuously hurt the dignity of his office. We strictly oppose what he said yesterday. It shows his sick mentality and twisted mindset," senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said.
"There is an attempt by him to divide society... His main opposition, the INC, has led the national movement, spearheaded the fight for independence... to call it a Muslim party does not behove a PM. His sick mindset is an issue of national concern. The prime minister gives out statements which are wrong as per history and facts,” Sharma said.
The Congress leader said Modi was the Prime Minister of the entire country and not only of the BJP. He said Modi had "less knowledge of history and writes his own history".
Modi needs to be reminded that Congress presidents such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Maulana Azad were iconic leaders, he said. "It will be better if he keeps a list of Congress presidents in his office. Maybe then he will leave his habit of giving wrong statements," Sharma said.
The Congress, he said, was a party "for all Indians and respects the diversity the country has to offer". He also said the Congress was against triple talaq and the prime minister should know that there were some rules and regulations that need to be followed in Parliament. "This government has tried time and again to bypass Parliament. They want to get bills approved without the scrutiny of Parliament," he alleged.
The Prime Minister had on Saturday said the opposition was stonewalling the government's efforts to secure the life of women, especially Muslim women. The triple talaq bill has already been passed in the Lower House, but remains pending in the Rajya Sabha amid opposition reservations over it.
Sharma alleged that the prime minister was a "peddler of untruths". Instead of giving an account of the last four years, "the prime minister is resorting to untruths, half truth and lies", he alleged.
"The Congress does not need any certificate from Narendra Modi or the BJP about its credentials, ideologies or credibility and commitment to the country. It is very well documented," he said. Sharma also said that he can understand the prime minister's helplessness as he belonged to an ideology, the followers of which had even opposed Mahatma Gandhi.
The Congress also alleged the Modi government provided false data about the upliftment of people from below poverty line. The prime minister's claim that five crore people have been lifted out of poverty in two years was "laughable", Sharma said.
In fact, after demonetisation and the launch of the GST, crores of people have been thrown below the poverty line, he added. The Congress leader claimed that 14 crore people were lifted out of the poverty net from 2004 to 2014.