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March 13, 2019

Rahul’s question to voters: ‘Mahatma’s India or of his murderers’

Top Story

March 13, 2019

ISLAMABAD: "Do you want Mahatama Gandhi's India -- where there is love, harmony -- or Godse's India, where these is fear and hatred?" Congress chief Rahul Gandhi asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Congress chief, at the meeting with workers in Delhi, attacked the BJP government and said Mahatama Gandhi was "fearless" and never demonstrated bitterness despite spending years in jail.

He mentioned Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse during his address to stress that BJP was spreading "fear" and "hatred" in the country. He also drew a comparison between Mahatama Gandhi and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, also known as Veer Savarkar.

"Our leaders fought bravely against the British, yet they spread love and harmony. On the other hand, Veer Savarkar wrote mercy petitions to British," the Congress chief said.

Veer Savarkar has been often praised by the BJP and the Shiv Sena in political speeches for his efforts in fight for India's freedom against the Britishers. Asserting that the Congress will be forming government at the centre this year, he slammed the Modi government over rising fuel prices, among other issues.

He also reiterated Congress’s commitment of minimum income guarantee for the poor. Rahul Gandhi shared a video of the meet on Twitter where he can be seen claiming that, under Modi government, "unemployment is the highest in 45 years". "Five years ago, Chowkidar said he wanted to fight corruption.

He said he wanted to make it a 'Congress-mukt Bharat'. Today, the slogan of 'Acche Din Aayenge' has changed to 'Chowkidar chor hai'," he said at meet. Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar predicted that Modi will not return for a second term, even though the BJP may emerge as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha elections.

"I don't think that Narendra Modi will become PM again as the BJP will not get the required number in the elections. However, the BJP may emerge as the single largest party which cannot form the government without the support of other political parties," Indian media quoted Sharad Pawar as saying.

"If the BJP takes the support of other parties to form the government, then the parties which support the BJP will look for someone else as their prime minister," the 78-year-old former union minister added.

The BJP had in the 2014 general elections bagged 283 seats, enough to form government on their own. The NDA alliance had scored 326 seats. On BJP chief Amit Shah's assertion that his party would win 45 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, Pawar sarcastically said, "He seems to have made a mistake. He should have said that his party would win (all) 48 seats."

Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took a veiled dig at Modi and asked what happened to the promise of depositing Rs15 lakh into every citizen’s bank account and pledges about women’s safety.

Addressing a public rally in Gandhinagar with Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi by her side, Priyanka said the present situation in the country was sad and asked the crowd to raise the correct questions in the elections and not frivolous issues.

“The people who made tall claims in 2014, ask them about the Rs15 lakh that was to be deposited into your account. Ask them about the promises they made about women security and about employment,” Priyanka Gandhi, who has been given charge of Uttar Pradesh (East), said.

Priyanka Gandhi said the main issues on which the elections would be fought are women security, employment, and agrarian crisis. “Issues which should be raised must comprise as to what is most important for you and how can you move forward. How will the youth get jobs, how will women feel safe, what will be done for farmers. These are the issues for elections,” she said.

The Congress also launched an all-out attack at National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, holding him responsible for the 1999 release of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. From social media to rallies, the party is cornering the BJP over Doval everywhere.

“PM Narendra Modi, please tell the families of our 40 CRPF shaheeds, who released Masood Azhar? Also, tell them that your current NSA was the deal maker,” Rahul Gandhi had tweeted. “These people with 56-inch chest, you would recall, in their previous government, the current National Security Advisor Ajit Doval went in an aircraft with Masood Azhar ji and handed over Masood Azhar there in Kandahar,” Rahul had told Congress workers in Delhi.

Then, on Tuesday, Congress dug out a 2010 interview of Doval where he is indicting the BJP government for the release of Azhar. A screenshot of the interview is headlined ‘Releasing Masood Azhar was a political decision’. In the tweet, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala asks: “Will PM Modi and Ravi Shankar Prasad admit to the anti-national act now?”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Delhi and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal voiced his criticism of Modi politicising the recent tension with Pakistan. "Whatever happened after the Pulwama attack on India-Pakistan border and the way BJP's conduct was, which politicised it, it is causing damage to the BJP. There's a notion that it is helping it but it is not, at least not in Delhi," he told reporters

Kejriwal further said he was told by several people that they were apprehensive of a Pulwama-like attack prior to the Lok Sabha polls. "I am only saying what people told us... They told us that they were apprehensive for the last two years that they (BJP) will either foment a conflict over Ram Mandir or between India and Pakistan," he said.

The Delhi CM has been critical of Modi following the Pulwama attack, questioning how many bodies he needs to win the upcoming polls. Meanwhile, the National Conference president Farooq Abdullah urged the people of IHK on Tuesday to elect those leaders in the upcoming general election who would ensure that their voice was heard in Parliament.

He hit out at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying it had unleashed "countless miseries" on the people of IHK. "The people of Kashmir will remember the PDP for unleashing countless miseries on the people," he said.

The former IHK chief minister said the PDP, notwithstanding its "pretentious" anti-BJP campaign, joined hands with the saffron party after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in an unambiguous instance of political opportunism.

Meanwhile, if China decides not to place a hold on the listing of Masood Azhar at the United Nations Security Council today (Wednesday), and the Jaish e Mohammad (JeM) chief is listed as a terrorist sanctioned by the “1267 Al Qaeda Committee”, it would be a major break from the past two decades.

Since 2001, when the JeM was first listed as an entity, to 2008 in the wake of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, to 2016, after the Pathankot airbase attack, the UNSC has failed to put Azhar on its list, mainly due to opposition from China.

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