New Delhi: The BJP on Thursday reacted furiously to Congress MP B K Hariprasad's controversial 'swine flu' dig at BJP president Amit Shah, saying that flu is curable but "mental illness" of the opposition party's leaders is difficult to treat.
Demanding that the Congress should sack Hariprasad and tender a public apology for these "abhorrent" remarks, the BJP claimed that the opposition party's "silence" over these comments show that all such "toxic" views have the sanction of its leadership.
In Bengaluru, Hariprasad, a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress, had mocked the health condition of Shah, saying he contracted swine flu since his party made an alleged bid to destabilise the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka.
"The kind of ugly and indecent comments Congress MP B K Hariprasad have made about BJP president Amit Shah's health show the standards of the Congress. Flu is curable but it is difficult to cure Congress leaders' mental illness," Union minister Piyush Goyal said.
Apart from Goyal several union ministers, including Rajyavardhan Rathore, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and BJP leaders reacted sharply to Hariprasad's remarks. "This is a completely abhorrent and ugly statement. They don't even have the basic decency as to how to react to a person's illness," Naqvi said.
Expressing his sadness over "cheap statements," Rathore said he was not surprised to see Congress leaders completely abandon decency and dignity.
Such comments also show the frustration of the Congress leadership, he added.
BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said Hariprasad's comments show the "moral degeneration" of the Congress, its complete "bankruptcy" of thoughts and "lack of moral values."
"The fact that the Congress leadership is silent on Hariprasad comments clearly establishes all such toxic comments have sanction of the leadership.
And if they want to really disapprove of his remarks, Rahul Gandhi should sack Hariprasad and should make him apologise publicly to Amit Shah," Rao added.
Another party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain described Hariprasad's remarks as "shameful," saying this is the real face of the Congress.
Noting that Shah had himself informed people about his illness, Hussain said the Congress leader's comments would hurt people across the country.
Shah was diagnosed with swine flu and admitted to the AIIMS on Wednesday.
Later, he informed people about his illness in a tweet.
The party on Thursday said that he is doing well and will be discharged in a day or two....