The BJP on Monday launched a strong counterattack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the latter played up the killing of Rakbar Khan in Rajasthan’s Alwar district allegedly by cow vigilantes to put the saffron outfit on the mat.

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal called Gandhi a ‘Merchant of Hate’ in a tweet, asking the Congress president to desist from “jumping with joy every time a crime happens”. Goyal accused Gandhi of dividing society for “electoral gains” and then “shed crocodile tears”.

Union minister Smriti Irani too took sharp digs at the Congress scion. She tweeted that Gandhi’s “family presided over the worst form of hate in 1984, Bhagalpur & Nellie” apart from other instances. She dubbed Gandhi’s politics as ‘Vulture Politics’.

She too accused Gandhi for trying to “rupture social bonds for electoral gains”.

The BJP also tweeted from its official handle a poem asking Gandhi to ‘stop 70-year-old drama of love’, asking Gandhi how he was able to do hug and then wink in the same breath, referring to his ‘drama’ in Parliament during the No-Confidence Motion debate on Friday last.

In the poem, BJP also charged Gandhi of ‘misleading’ the nation away from the path of progress, asking him to realise that these were matters of the nation and not a movie.

The sharp reactions came in as a response to Gandhi’s tweet: “Policemen in #Alwar took 3 hrs to get a dying Rakbar Khan, the victim of a lynch mob, to a hospital just 6 KM away. Why? They took a tea-break enroute. This is Modi’s brutal “New India” where humanity is replaced with hatred and people are crushed and left to die.”