Respect Rahul Gandhi, BJP allies warn PM Modi...'If you insult RaGa, you will lose again'

Patna, Dec 13: The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) have urged the BJP leadership to stop making personal attacks on Congress President Rahul Gandhi, saying this was one reason why the BJP lost Assembly elections in the Hindi heartland.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was also advised by its allies in Bihar to keep the focus on the development agenda instead of the Ram temple and issues such as Lord Hanuman's caste.Two days after the BJP was ousted from power in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the JD-U of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the LJP of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan voiced their objection to the BJP's aggressive tone over issues not linked to development."The NDA's agenda is development. If the NDA will persist with issues like Ram temple and Lord Hanuman, people will be confused," LJP MP Chirag Paswan, the son of Ram Vilas Paswan, said here on Thursday.Senior JD-U leader K.C. Tyagi said personal attacks on Rahul Gandhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the election campaign in Assembly polls were objectionable. "The BJP has harmed itself because of this."Tyagi, General Secretary of JD-U, said the BJP only raised emotional issues during the polls and ignored matters related to farmers, employment, price rise and corruption.When Modi met Rahul after election resultsEarlier in the day, two days after the Congress wrested three Hindi heartland states from the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi were a short distance from each other at a function in Parliament on Thursday but did not speak.The two leaders were in Parliament for an event to pay tribute to the martyrs of the 2001 Parliament attack.Modi was seen exchanging greetings with his predecessor and Congress leader Manmohan Singh.Union minister Vijay Goel and minister of state for social justice Ramdas Athawale shook hands with the Congress president.Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, BJP veteran L K Advani and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were among the others present at the event.They showered petals on portraits of the martyrs killed in the attack 17 years ago on this day.On December 13, 2001, five heavily armed gunmen stormed the Parliament complex and opened fire. Five Delhi police personnel, a woman constable of the Central Reserve Police Fore, two members of Parliament Watch and Ward Staff, a gardener and a cameraman lost their lives in the attack.The Congress won the elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, all ruled by the BJP. The votes were counted on Tuesday.

News24 Bureau/ AgenciesPhoto: Google