Feb. 24, 2021, 4:30 a.m.
CONGRESS leader Rahul Gandhi came under attack from the BJP on Tuesday after comparing Kerala voters to those in the north, praising the southern state for its “interest in the issues”.
Addressing a public rally in Thiruvananthapuram, Rahul said, “For the first 15 years I was an MP in the north, I got used to a different kind of politics. For me, coming to Kerala was very refreshing as I suddenly found that people were interested in the issues, and not just superficially, but going into detail.
Several BJP leaders and Union ministers retaliated, calling Rahul an “opportunist” and accusing him of demeaning the North Indians. In a tweet, BJP Chairman JP Nadda said: “A few days ago he (Gandhi) was in the northeast, spitting venom against the western part of India. Today in the South, it spits venom against the North. Divide and rule politics won’t work, @RahulGandhi Ji! People rejected this policy. See what happened in Gujarat today! “
In the results of Gujarat’s civic poll declared on Tuesday, Congress was wiped out, winning 55 of 576 seats.
Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani called Rahul “ungrateful”. Irani had defeated Rahul from his family stronghold Amethi in the last general election, and he went to parliament from Lok Sabha’s second seat he contested, Wayanad in Kerala.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju told Rahul not to “abuse Amethi and the North Indians”. “The people of Amethi have given your whole family so many chances!”
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted: “The man who ran to Kerala to save his seat in Lok Sabha questions the intelligence of North Indians, including those who faithfully voted for his family during generations! The point is… he was forced to show up because of non-performance and lack of development.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said: “I am from the South. I am a member of Parliament from a Western state. I was born, educated and worked in the North. I have represented all of India to the world. India is one of them. Never descend an area; never divide us.
Rahul was addressing a gathering in Thiruvananthapuram at the end of a 22 day Aishwarya Yatra. He said he learned a lot from Kerala and understood a bit of the “wisdom of the people” there, and recently told some students in the US how he “really appreciates” the “intelligence” with which Kerala does politics.
Incidentally, in his speech, Rahul also said that the BJP would be watching him closely to attack him. “I am fighting the BJP, I am fighting the ideology of the RSS. With every step I take, the BJP attacks me. Right now they are watching my speech to see what there is to attack.
He also criticized the Center over controversial farm laws and rising fuel prices, and accused the governments of Central and Kerala of giving money to the wealthy.
“Why are the prosecutions against the DFL, the cases against a person who worked in the office of the chief minister progressing so slowly?” Central agencies are investigating cases related to gold smuggling.
Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from indianexpress.com