In a veiled attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Himachal Pradesh BJP president Satpal Singh Satti said on Wednesday that he would chop off the hands of anyone raising a finger at BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During an election speech in Mandi, Satti said, "Wo chowkidar ko is desh ka, beimaan bolte hain… Jo hamare baap ko chor bolega usko bhi ham log waese he bolenge… Saamne neta log baithe hain, agar koi unki oar ungli uthaega, ham log uski baajoo kaat karke uske haath mein pakda denge (They call the watchman of the entire country, a thief. Whoever calls our father a thief will hear equally derogatory replies from us… BJP leaders are sitting here, if anyone raises a finger at them, we will chop off their hands)."
Even after being temporarily barred by the election commission for passing derogatory remarks against Gandhi, Satti, who has been raising an objection against Gandhi for calling Modi a "chor (thief)", has been passing derogatory remarks against the Congress chief in several election rallies.
On April 13, while addressing party workers at Ramshehar in Solan district, Satti had referred to a purported Facebook post to use the word "ma......d" in the context of Gandhi. As a result, the election commission had barred him from campaigning on Saturday and Sunday.
On April 14, during an election rally at Bhanjal in Una district, Satti had made derogatory remarks against Gandhi’s personal life, for which the District Election Officer (DEO) in Una had issued a warning against Satti on Monday.
In his speech in Mandi on Wednesday, Satti also spoke against senior Congress leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, calling him "sher (lion) of Punjab" and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, calling her "Maa (Goddess)".
Calling Singh a "silent prime minister", he said that despite being a "lion" Singh could not do much because "jis samay sher ke upar maa baithi hoti hai toh sher kuch nahi kar sakta (when the Goddess is riding the lion, the lion cannot do anything)".
Attacking former Union minister Sukh Ram, whose grandson Aashray Sharma is the Congress candidate from Mandi, Satti said that the 93-year-old leader needed "five-seven more years to realise his dreams (related to politics)".
While speaking to The Indian Express, Satti said he did not remember having made any comment regarding chopping people’s hands. On being asked whether he would apologise for the comments, he said, "Baad mein dekhenge (Will see later)."
Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Kuldeep Singh Rathore said, "We will complain about Satti ji’s comments to the Election Commission. His language and statements against Congress are unacceptable. He should be barred from campaigning in the entire remaining campaigning season."