With the BJP taking potshots over "leave of absence" taken by Congress vice chief Rahul Gandhi, the Congress on Friday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of ignoring senior leaders of his party, including L.K. Advani.Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Modi and Bharatiya Janta Party president Amit Shah should focus on "real issues" at the party's national executive meeting being held in Bengaluru."Instead of brainstorming on real issues, they seem to be doing a brain-washing session. We would like to ask them to remember their own self-professed culture and regard for the elders," Surjewala told IANS.He said Advani had "protected" Modi in 2002 from being relegated to "dustbins of history" when then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had "wanted to remove him (Modi) as chief minister"."Having secured power in Delhi, the same Modi has relegated the party's patriarchs including his own saviour Advani and the entire ilk of (senior) BJP leadership to the dustbins of political history," Surjewala said.
Earlier at the BJP's national executive in Bengaluru, Shah took a jibe at the Congress, suggesting it should locate its "missing leader" instead of finding faults with the ruling party.Speaking in the presence of Modi and Advani among others, the BJP president said: "The opposition is disappointed and therefore is finding flaws in the BJP that are not even there."Instead of finding flaws with us, they should find where their leader (Rahul Gandhi) is," Shah was quoted by BJP leader Prakash Javadekar as saying.Retorting with a volley of questions, the Congress accused the BJP-led central government of not fulfilling its promise of bringing back black money stashed abroad.Deploring the recent spate of farmers' suicides across the country, Surjewala questioned the government's claim of ensuring "achche din" (good times).
Targeting union ministers Giriraj Singh and Sadhvi Niranjan who currently face flak for practising "divisive" politics, the Congress leader also attacked the prime minister for providing them "latent support" in view of his studied silence."What happened to the good governance rather than lumpen elements with latent support of the prime minister trying to take control of his government in setting divisive agenda," he asked.Meanwhile, missing from action for over a month, the 44-year-old Congress vice president has been on a "leave of absence" since the budget session of parliament began on February 23.The Congress is unable to confirm when its leader would return.