Reacting strongly to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s speech at a rally in Churu, Rajasthan, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said there was a need for the former to take history lessons about his party's communal past.
“My first reaction to his statement is that this is an old policy of the Congress Party, where they try to usurp the credit of other people’s work, as he tried to do it last week when he was claiming that the Right to Information was brought by the Congress Party, whereas on facts he is wrong,” BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said here today.
Lekhi asked the Congress vice president to remember the actions taken by his grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi and his father Rajiv Gandhi.
“With regard to rioting history, he better remember the 1984 riots, and he would better off remembering the deeds of his father and grandmother. In the 1967 riots, his grandmother made a statement directly in the Gujarat riots. Post that, in 1969, post that, till 2002 there were riots every year in Gujarat. Come to the Narendra Modi Government, Gujarat has not seen a single riot,” Lekhi said.
"With regard to Muzaffarnagar and several other places, let me remind him Dibrugarh happened in Assam, which was again run by the Congress Government. 5,500 riots have happened in the country post 2002, and most states where these riots have happened …the government is run by the Congress. …He will do better by studying these subjects (of history) deeply,” Lekhi added.
Speaking in Churu today, Rahul Gandhi recalled his visit to Muzaffarnagar after the communal riots, and said that he connected with the victims because he saw the same pain, anguish and wrongdoing that he witnessed at the time of his grandmother and father’s assassinations.
“I went to Muzaffarnagar and met Hindus and Muslims, after the riots. In them, I saw my story. In their pain, I saw my face. That is why I am so against communal politics. That is why I want India to stay united, that is why I want us to be one,” Gandhi said.
“The BJP will go to Muzaffarnagar and ignite a fire. The BJP will go to Gujarat and Kashmir and start a fire. It is you and me who have to calm the fire. It is us who have to go to their homes, it is us who cool them down. The country doesn’t benefit from this,” he added.
Further, the Congress vice president explained that the reason he spoke strongly against the BJP’s method of politics was because his own experience made him understand the extreme consequences of hatred and anger.
“I speak against the BJP orchestrated divisive and communal politics. But, I have never told you why I speak so strongly against them. Today, I will tell you that. …The pain that I felt that day, I have only felt on one other occasion when my father was killed. But, only I know the pain that I went through when my grandmother was killed. I understand that pain. It was like someone ripped your chest,” Gandhi said while describing the day of 31 October, 1984, when Indira Gandhi was assassinated.
At Rahul Gandhi’s Churu rally, AICC General Secretary and party in-charge Gurudas Kamat and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot were also present.
The assembly polls in Rajasthan are scheduled for December 1.
Rajasthan is expected to witness a fierce political battle between the Congress and the BJP in the upcoming polls.