The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday asked the Election Commission (EC) to take "serious cognisance" of Rahul Gandhi's "chowkidar chor hai" statement.
This came soon after the Supreme Court demanded an explanation from the Congress President for wrongly attributing the said comment in the context of Rafale fighter jets issue to the apex court.
Addressing a press conference here, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused Gandhi of lying and said while the Indian Constitution gives every citizen the freedom to speak, it does not give freedom to "lie and abuse".
"Please explain to the country why you lied and why you attributed that lie to the Supreme Court. When will Rahul Gandhi stop shameless showering of abuses on our leaders?" he said.
His remarks came after the Supreme Court earlier observed that the "chowkidar chor hai" comment made by Gandhi in the context of Rafale fighter jets issue had been wrongly attributed to it and demanded an explanation from the Congress President by April 22.
The Supreme Court's directive came on a contempt plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Meenakshi Lekhi against Gandhi, who had said over a week back that the top court had "accepted" that there was some form of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal and that "chowkidar chor hai", a veiled reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Gandhi had made the comments after the Supreme Court agreed to hear afresh a case related to the Rafale deal, rejecting the government's contention that the secret documents concerning the agreement had been stolen and published in some newspapers without authorisation.
The BJP leader said that while on one hand, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi accuse the BJP of being a threat to the Constitution, on the other, the Congress President has "made a habit of repeatedly degrade the sanctity of our constitutional bodies" -- be it the Election Commission, or now the Supreme Court.