Rahul is anti-national, should go to Pakistan: BJP

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacting with women labourers in a village in his constituency Amethi, on Friday PTI

Rahul: Don’t need lessons on patriotism; Cong accuses BJP of being ‘anti-student’

The Congress on Friday responded to the BJP labelling Rahul Gandhi “anti-national” and advising him to “go to Pakistan” by maintaining that the ruling party is using violence and fictitious evidence to target students across the country.

The BJP’s state unit in Punjab burnt Rahul Gandhi’s effigy, with senior leader Manoranjan Kalia demanding that he should be “sent to Pakistan”. Referring to Gandhi’s visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus where students and teachers have been protesting after the arrest of JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges, Kalia said: “What Rahul Gandhi has done is anti-national. The country does not need such leaders. He should be sent to Pakistan.

The BJP also accused the Congress leader of telling “lies” after he attacked the government over the issues of price rise and farmers. “He is out on bail in the ₹5,000 crore National Herald case. There is also a backlash over his support to anti-nationals in the JNU case. He is frustrated and due to this is speaking lies,” said BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma.

Responding to the accusations, Gandhi, reported PTI, said: “I don’t need to take lessons from the BJP and RSS. Patriotism is in my blood.” Interacting with farmers in Salon, in his constituency, Amethi, he also promised to take up their issues in Parliament.

Congress response

In Delhi, the Congress maintained that the inherent illiberalism and conservatism of the BJP/RSS’s ideology has pitted the ruling party against students across India.

“After the ‘Love Jihad’ and ‘review of reservation’ propaganda failed (in the Bihar election), the RSS is trying this new ploy of masking its bigoted ideology into nationalism and trying to somehow fit its ideology into the minds of the people through repression and coercion,” said party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

“We are witnessing unrest and tension amongst students in campuses across the country as a reaction to the grossly insensitive and partisan cycle of atrocities and repression let loose by the Narendra Modi Government,” he said.

Citing instances of BJP’s Delhi MLA OP Sharma and lawyers sympathetic to the party attacking students and journalists as well as BJP leader from Haryana Jawahar Yadav calling students in universities “call girls” and “prostitutes”, the Congress spokesperson said the ruling party is “anti-student”, “anti-women” and “anti-Dalit”.

‘JNU video was doctored’

Singhvi then gave details of how the ruling party “manufactured” evidence of Kanhaiya Kumar and another student Umar Khalid’s alleged anti-national activities.

“A national spokesperson of the ruling party, and by extension, the Government and the PM himself, showed a doctored video on national television to provide ‘clinching evidence’ against protesting students. It comes out now through another video aired by other channels that the purported video was doctored, wherein words were replaced,” said Singhvi.

The students were shouting slogans demanding Freedom (Azadi) from Feudal forces (Samantvaad), Freedom from Hunger, Freedom from poverty and Freedom from Sanghvad (RSS ideology).

“Are these slogans anti India? Do these slogans make people chanting them, anti-national? We wonder who amongst us does not want Freedom from Feudalism, Hunger and Poverty. Does that make all of us anti-national?” he asked.

Published on February 19, 2016

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