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Rahul says PM Modi is ‘casteist’, BJP calls Cong’s protest a cruel joke on dalits | India News

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NEW DELHI: Both BJP and Congress were today engaged in a war of words with Congress president Rahul Gandhi accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being anti-dalit and the ruling BJP mocking him for staging a “farce” while its leaders ate “chhola bhatura”.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra termed the Congress’s protest against the BJP-led government at the Centre a “farce” after its (Congress) leaders were photographed eating “chhola bhatura” at a restaurant in the capital before the start of a nationwide fast against the alleged communalism and non-functioning of Parliament.

“The real meaning of Satyagraha is to request for the truth (

satya


ke


liye


agrah
), to bear pain, but Congress leaders were eating “chhola

bhatura”
. This is a cruel joke. Dalits, farmers of this country will not forgive you for playing this cruel joke,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.

Patra was responding to Rahul’s charge that the Prime Minister was indulging in politics of hate and was oppressing the rights of the dalits and minorities.

Speaking to reporters at the protest site, Rahul targeted PM Narendra Modi and accused his party of “creating an atmosphere of fear” in the country. “It is BJP’s ideology to oppress dalits, adivasis and minorities of this country,” said Rahul, who led the protest against the BJP-led government at the Centre.

Countering Rahul, BJP’s Patra accused the Congress of indulging in “politics of luxury” and said that all Congress leaders and the members of the Nehru-Gandhi family are used to it, instead of the “politics of performance”.

“The Congress has fallen into its own trap. What we have seen from Rahul today is not a fast but the farce of a fast. (It was) an attempt by his party to fast track his politics to burnish his credentials despite people rejecting him time and again,” he told reporters.

Rahul, on the other hand, once again claimed that the grand old party (Indian National Congress) will defeat the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 general election.

“The entire country knows that PM Modi is anti-Dalit, it is not a secret… We will stand against and defeat it in 2019 general polls,” Gandhi told reporters.

Referring to the recent letters written by several BJP MPs where they had expressed concerns over the oppression of dalits, especially in Uttar Pradesh following the April 2 agitation by the dalit community, Rahul said that even his (PM Modi) party MP’s are calling him a “casteist”.

Later, Patra responded to Rahul’s allegations and asked if the Congress chief had abstained even from one meal when anti-dalit violence had happened in places like Mirchpur, Gohana and Jhajjar when the Congress was in power.

Citing figures of anti-dalit violence in five years of the Congress rule in the poll-bound Karnataka, he said the state had reported 9,080 cases crimes against the community and over 358 Dalits were killed.

Gandhi should tell them when he plans to sit on a fast against crimes against dalits in Karnataka, he asked.

The bitter exchange of words between the two parties started when Congress announced that its party’s chief will be leading a day-long protest against the BJP-led government at the Centre and to promote peace and communal harmony in the country.

Congress was left red-faced when a photograph appeared in which several Congress leaders were seen eating “chhola

bhatura”
at a restaurant in the capital. The photograph made the ruling party slammed the Congress’s protest “stage-managed” and “farcical”.

(With inputs from agencies)

Updated: April 9, 2018 — 1:17 pm

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