"If you permit to borrow something Congress has trademark for themselves, today you (Rahul Gandhi) have become merchant of lies," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here in an apparent reference to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's infamous "maut ka saudagar" (merchant of death) barb against Narendra Modi.

Referring to the report prepared on behalf of Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy (DIPP) which has praised the Gujarat land acquisition model as ‘exemplary’, she said, "In every rally, the Congress vice-president spoke about the toffee model that one gets a toffee in one rupee but in Gujarat you will get land in one rupee.”

"Where is Rahul Gandhi now? Where is he today? His own government today said that land acquisition policy in Gujarat is exemplary and it is the best practice. From the dais you went about telling the whole world something which did not get corroborated by your own government,” she added.

Sitharaman further said, “You went on to say untruths from the dais as part of your election campaign and Congress party did not bat an eyelid. His speech writers did not tell him about this."

She said the Congress should apologise for having said such untruths when its government report is to the contrary.

“People are misled,” she said.

Objecting to the ‘vicious’ propaganda against Narendra Modi and BJP, she also sought a reply from Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.

"Whether malnutrition or encounters, Gujarat was always targeted. Anything to do with Modi and Gujarat is alright for bashing up with untruths,” Sitharaman said.

"We object to this and we take serious note of this kind of vicious attack Congress is propagating against Modi and BJP. Minister Anand Sharma should come out on this," she added.


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