In a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi on the row over his meeting with Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, BJP leader Smriti Irani on Thursday described the Congress chief as a "congenital liar" and wondered if he is "India's first post-truth politician".
Hitting back at Irani, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said Irani was an "an electorally frustrated" leader who has been trying to stay politically relevant by abusing Gandhi for the past 15 years.
"Mrs Irani should realise that she cannot win 2019 by only abusing Rahul Gandhi. Mr Gandhi does not need a certificate of honesty from court jesters of the 'bhrasht jumla party'," he said.
Parrikar on Wednesday had accused Gandhi of using their courtesy meeting for "petty political gains" by making a "false statement" on the Rafale issue, prompting the Congress chief to assert that he did not speak on details of their conversation and claim that the BJP leader was "under pressure".
In a Facebook post, Minister of Textiles Irani said: "Unquestionably, he (Gandhi) is a congenital liar. The political system is increasingly realising that it is dangerous to even maintain social contact with him in terms of basic political courtesies."
"'Deep concerns' led him to a courtesy visit to the Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's residence. He concocted a conversation where he alleged that Manohar Parrikar distanced himself from Rafale," Irani said in a blog titled 'Is the dynast a congenital liar - India's first post-truth politician'.
She alleged that Gandhi, while speaking during the Motion of No Confidence against the government, had "concocted" a conversation between him and French President Emmanuel Macron, which the French government promptly denied.
"Earlier, he (Gandhi) had concocted a pleasantry exchange between him and Sushma Swaraj as a conversation with a political slant. He had similarly, in the past, concocted a conversation with Arun Jaitley claiming that the minister had told him that he knew very little about Jammu & Kashmir," Irani claimed.
"Is he India's first post-truth politician? From an imaginary Rafale, to a loan waiver scam, he is now into hallucinating conversations," she alleged.
Those who depend on dynasties for their survival find themselves looking the other way even when aberrations may well be psychiatric in character, Irani said.
"Ordinarily such psychiatric aberrations as hallucinating conversations would rule a person unfit for public life. Persons suffering from them need help and not political rewards," she alleged.