Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his purported political potshot at Congress president Rahul Gandhi while discussing dyslexia with a student.
Mr. Kumaraswamy said it was totally unbecoming of a person in the post of the Prime Minister to make such remarks. “Instead of ridiculing, the Prime Minister should have spoken about building self-confidence. His [Modi] words are an insult to those with dyslexia. It shows his pettiness,” he said.
During a video interaction that was part of the Smart India Hackathon on Sunday, a BTech student from Uttarakhand began to explain to Mr. Modi that her project would help people with dyslexia, a learning disability.
At this point, video recordings of the event showed Mr. Modi interrupting her to say: “Could this idea help any 40- or 50-year-old child?” As Mr. Modi broke into a chuckle, many in the audience laughed and clapped before the student replied: “Yes, sir, it will.” The Prime Minister then said: “The mother of such children would become very happy.”
In a tweet, Mr. Siddaramaiah said: “Just came across a video of our @narendramodi taking political pot-shots using the name of dyslexic people. Shame on you Modi!! You just can’t go below this. Your insensitivity can’t be washed away by dipping in any river. They may be slow in learning, but not heartless like you.”
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao also hit out at Modi. He posted a video of the Prime Minister making the comment and tweeted: “If there was ever a classless crude Prime Minister India has seen, here’s one. Yuck!”
Later speaking to presspersons, Mr. Dinesh Gundu Rao said: “I do not think in India’s history, amongst all our Prime Ministers, anyone has made such a crass and crude statement.”