Rahul Gandhi should study India’s history first: Amit Shah on Bharat Jodo Yatra
Jaipur/New Delhi: Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday asked Rahul Gandhi to study Indian history while hitting out at him, saying the Congress leader was trying to “unite” the country after claiming India is not a nation, referring to one of Gandhi’s parliamentary speeches.
The Congress hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), raising issues of fuel price rise and unemployment as its Bharat Jodo Yatra completed its fourth day.
Addressing the BJP Rajasthan unit’s booth functionaries in Jodhpur, Shah took potshots at Gandhi, the central figure of the Congress’s biggest march, and said: “I want to remind Rahul baba and Congressmen about his speech given in Parliament. Rahul baba had said that ‘India is not a nation’ at all.”
“Rahul baba, in which book have you read? This is the nation for which lakhs and lakhs of people have sacrificed their lives,” he added.
Shah’s comments against Gandhi was in reference to the latter’s speech in the Lok Sabha in February, when he had said, “India is described in the Indian Constitution as a union of states and not a nation.”
Shah further said that “the one who said India is not a nation is now on a yatra to unite India wearing foreign T-shirt”, stoking the controversy over Gandhi wearing a Burberry T-shirt reportedly costing over ₹41,000 during the ongoing yatra.
The Union minister also slammed the Congress-led Rajasthan government over the murder of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal by Muslim extremists and Karauli violence, alleged ban on celebration of Hindu festivals and demolition of a temple in Alwar.
The Congress, meanwhile, sharpened its focus on the core issues of jobs and price rise.
“If petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices get reduced in the next 24-72 hours, you will know that the #BharatJodoYatra has woken up the Modi Sarkar to finally carry out its Kartavya,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh tweeted.
“People who were responsible for the killing of Mahatma Gandhi and the murders of people like Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh are raising questions! What a morbid joke! Such attempts to damage the spirit of #BharatJodoYatra will fail miserably!” he said in another tweet.
On Saturday, Gandhi interacted with MGNREGS workers, school children and walked with young men wearing T-shirts that said ‘I am walking for job’. The official Twitter handle of the Bharat Jodo Yatra said: “They’re walking to demand jobs. We’re walking for you!”
Launching an attack on the Ashok Gehlot government, Shah reminded the audience that the Union government has reduced tax on petrol and diesel, and BJP-ruled states have reduced VAT, but the Gehlot government did not. “Today the most expensive fuel and electricity in the country is in Rajasthan,” he alleged, while appealing to the gathering to vote for the BJP in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
The state will go to assembly elections next year.
Speaking on the occasion, senior BJP leader and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje said the law and order situation in Rajasthan was a total failure. “Corruption and Congress are one, nothing happens without money here,” she alleged. “We need to oust this Raavan-like government and form a BJP government in 2023.”
Reacting to the allegations, Congress leader and state’s food and civil supplies minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said Rajasthan’s public welfare and development model is an example for the country.
“It is the only state that is providing free treatment in government and private hospitals. Around 10 million people are getting pension,” he said. “The time has come for an open debate between the (Narendra) Modi and Gehlot government. What we have promised has been delivered.”
BJP leaders are not concerned about rising inflation and unemployment, he claimed, adding they are only “provoking people’s sentiments”.