NEW DELHI: Hitting back at the Congress after its senior leaders wrote to the President against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "threatening" language, the BJP asked the party to check its record of using the "most abusive language" against Modi and claimed that it was looking for an excuse for its impending defeat in the Karnataka assembly election.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reeled out a number of "abusive" terms such as 'maut ka saudagar' (merchant of death) and 'neech' (lowly), various Congress leaders had used to attack Modi earlier.
"Congress leaders led by Manmohan Singh, who have complained misleadingly about language of Narendra Modi should check their own record of repeated denigration of a popular leader like Modi with most abusive language," he told PTI.
It was former Congress president Sonia Gandhi who had called Modi a 'maut ka saudagar' while another party leader dubbed him lowly and advised him to open a tea shop, Prasad said.
The senior BJP leader also referred to the coinage of 'Gabbar Singh Tax' by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in this regard.
Gandhi had used the term to take a dig at the Modi government over the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The Congress has been targeting Modi because of its reluctance to accept that a man born in poverty had become prime minister, a post which only one family can lay claim to, Prasad said, in a swipe at the Gandhi family.
Despite repeated rejection from the people of India, the Congress is not willing to learn any lesson, he said.
At a press conference, BJP spokespersons Sudhanshu Trivedi and Shahnawaz Hussain also attacked the Congress over its leaders' letter to President Ram Nath Kovind against Modi.
Hussain said the party had started looking for an excuse for its certain defeat in the Karnataka polls, whose results will be announced tomorrow.
Trivedi said it was the Congress which has defined "the lowest level of personal attacks".
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other senior Congress leaders have written to President Ram Nath Kovind, asking him to caution Prime Minister Narendra Modi against using "unwarranted, threatening and intimidating" language to attack them.
Citing the Karnataka poll campaign, they said the "threat" given out by Modi to leaders of the party needs to be condemned as it does not behove the prime minister of a "constitutionally governed democratic country of 1.3 billion people".
The Congress leaders referred to Modi's speech on May 6 at Hubli in Karnataka in which he is quoted as saying, "Congress ke neta kaan kholkar sun lijiye, agar seemaon ko paar karoge, to yeh Modi hai, lene ke dene pad jayenge (Congress leaders should clearly hear out, if you cross limits, then this is Modi and you will have to pay a price)".