An unknown entity in the political circles a week ago, Salman Nizami has become a topic of many TV debates and political discussion since Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned his name at a campaign rally on Saturday. Nizami, a Congress leader from Jammu and Kashmir, on Sunday penned an open letter to Modi asking him if he was targeted because he is a “soft target” as a Muslim and a Kashmiri. In the letter, published on ABP News website, Nizami wrote, “I am a proud Kashmiri and a proud Indian, and I have always taken the most defiant stand against terrorists and terrorism. My family has spilled blood for holding up the integrity of this nation. My cousin was killed by terrorists.”Also readWho is Salman Nizami? Congress leader has had Twitter trouble in the past as wellNizami said that the tweets that the prime minister cited to claim that he was a “Azadi sympathiser” was “posted a few years back after pranksters hacked my Twitter handle.”He said that a he had complained to cyber police regarding this.Also readGujarat elections: Prime Minister Modi accuses Congress of ‘misleading Muslim community’, targets Salman NizamiThe former journalist wrote that by “killing” his Indianness, prime minister has done what terrorists ‘failed to do’. “Do you have any idea how life-threatening an attempt it is for a Kashmiri, who lives in terrorism-infested villages, to take on the terrorists? The terrorists subsequently attempted to kill me. But, failed,” he wrote. “Today, you have succeeded in ‘killing’ me. For you have killed my Indianness, you have branded me a terrorist sympathiser. You have so completely killed my existence. What terrorists could do, you have done.”Also readBJP releases Salman Nizami’s pictures with Shaktisinh Gohil to counter Congress claims of non-associationAttacking Modi, Nizami furhter said, “..once you are at 7 Race Course Road, you belong to everybody. Why do you continue to act as a BJP mascot and an RSS affiliate, who belongs to only his supporters? This is the reason why your report card as a PM is zero. You have never acted as a PM.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi had latched on to tweets by Nizami who, he said, was a Congress leader to tear into the opposition party for allegedly questioning his parentage.At an election rally at Lunawada, the prime minister said India was his father and mother, and like a good son, he will spend his entire life serving the country.”There is one Congress youth leader called Salman Nizami, who is campaigning for Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat. He said on Twitter that Rahul Gandhi’s father (Rajiv Gandhi) and grandmother (Indira Gandhi) had sacrificed their lives, while his great grandfather (Jawaharlal Nehru) was a freedom fighter. Okay, very good, we do not have a problem with that,” Modi said.”Then he (a reference to Nizami) went on to ask that Modi should answer who is his father and mother,” he said, quoting from the purported tweets of Nizami.The prime minister disapproved of the use of this kind of language in public discourse. “Do we use this language in public discourse? Do we ask such things, this Salman Nizami is their star campaigner?” Modi said.”What else has he tweeted, he is from Kashmir and he says he wants Aazad Kashmir. He called Indian armed forces rapists,” Modi said.Lashing out at Nizami, the prime minister said he has also glorified Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged for his crime.”That person has further said in his tweets that ‘ghar ghar se Afzal niklega’. Afzal Guru was sentenced to death by our courts and this man wants every home to produce Afzal.”Do you want Afzal in every home? Can you allow Afzals in Gujarat?” Modi asked the crowd at the rally in Lunawada, Mahisagar district, where the second phase of polling will be held on December 14.”The person who has spoken such things is campaigning for Rahul Gandhi. Should we forgive such people? Is this not an insult to our armed forces. To call our armed forces rapist is not their insult? Should we forgive such people?” Modi asked repeatedly.With inputs from PTI

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PM Modi you ‘killed’ my Indianness by branding me a terrorist sympathiser: Salman Nizami