India: Modi mocks Akhilesh Yadav for 'donkey' remark, Yadav says PM indulging in 'petty talk'
PM Modi addresses a state assembly election rally in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad on February 8. Photograph: (AFP)
In a fresh verbal exchange, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today mocked at the 'donkey' remark of Uttar Pradeh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav who responded by saying that the PM was indulging in petty talk despite holding the high post.
"In elections, opponents criticise each other... Akhileshji, I can understand if you attack Modi and BJP but I am amused that you have attacked donkeys...Are you afraid of donkeys, that too these are thousands of kilometres away?" Modi said.
He was responding to a remark by Akhilesh at a poll rally three days back in which he had said megastar Amitabh Bachchan should not campaign for donkeys as he was doing in a Gujarat government tourism advertisement.
"Akhileshji, you might hate the donkeys of Gujarat but it was that very state which gave birth to Dayanand Saraswati, Mahatma Gandhi...And Lord Krishan chose to stay," Modi said. addressing BJP's Vijay Shanknaad rally in Bahraich.
"The people of this country are my master, I take inspiration from the donkey because I work for people day and night...Donkeys are loyal to their master and work tirelessly even without food," the Prime Minister added.
While attacking Akhilesh, he said, "I am amused that your casteist mentality is also having a reflection on animals too...You found donkeys so bad...It is natural as your government is so efficient that the entire government goes about looking for buffaloes when they go missing."
His reference was to the buffaloes of SP minister Azam Khan which had gone missing in Rampur and police went all out to track them down.
"This is the pehchaan (identity) of your government but you are not aware that donkeys too give us inspiration if heart and mind is clear...We can also take that inspiration, it is loyal to the master and works as much as the master asks for and is very economical," he said.
"It works even if it is ill, hungry or tired and completes the work...Akhileshji these 125 crore countrymen are my masters...I do all the work they ask me to do as I take inspiration from donkeys and take it with full pride," Modi said.
Elaborating, he said, "Donkeys do not discriminate while carrying anything on its back...Whether it is a bag of sugar or bag of lime...(those who discriminate) are the ones who are neck deep in corruption."
Hours later, Akhilesh, while addressing an election meeting in Pechpedva, said, "the Prime Minister is sitting on such a high post and indulging in such petty talk which does not suit him."
Taking a dig at Modi, he said, "it seems he does not like staying in Delhi and is moving about all over UP...If he so desires, he can swap places with me."
He added, "Piqued are only those who are faced with defeat...Only those who are left behind talk about the past."
On Modi's remark that he is an "adopted son" of UP, the Chief Minister said, "PMji do not confuse our Uttar Pradesh... If you are the adopted son of UP, then we belong to this place...Who is going to adopt us".
On the prime minister's allegations that police stations are run by SP people, Akhilesh said he does not know that it is also run through UP-100.
"We admit that there had been some shortcomings, but it will improve with UP-100 and the anomalies in the police working will be addressed," he said.