After comparing RSS with SIMI, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has created yet another controversy when he dubbed Modi as an “evil leader” like Mao.
He was replying to questions raised by students who were attending his programme in Ahmedabad on Friday.
The interaction turned stormy when Rahul made some sharp remarks on Modi and said that his development is coming at the cost of a particular community. He then said that the blemish of Godhra incident will not fade away even if Modi does great work.
“Many an evil leaders have done great developmental work.” He then went on to compare Modi with Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
Some of the participants of the students’ meet who were uncomfortable with criticism of Modi by Rahul then confronted him with questions about how justified was his effort to bring democracy within the Congress party, when he himself has risen to power because of dynastic politics. “I have paid a huge cost for it… my father is my role model who wanted to change the system and he had to pay the price,” he said.
Some students reportedly told Rahul that Gujarat was now a much better place than what it was immediately after the 2002 riots. Perceiving the mood of the audience, local leaders wound up the session in a hurry.
Some students also complained that the organisers snatched away mikes from them. Rahul made a swift exit without entering into a debate with the students over Modi.
Earlier, he appealed to the youngsters to join the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the students’ arm of the Congress, and contribute to the process of nation-building. He kicked off his whirlwind Gujarat tour from Ahmedabad on Friday.
He addressed about 700 students drawn from different colleges of the city at Thakorebhai Desai Hall. He also addressed local NSUI leaders, before leaving for Rajkot, from where he was to go to Vadodara.
The AICC general secretary’s visit to Gujarat aims at strengthening the NSUI by persuading students to join the union. His visit is also intended at boosting the morale of local NSUI leaders, who are gearing up for the upcoming election of their representatives across the state.
The 700 students had taken their seats well before 8:30 am, but Rahul arrived only around 11:00 am, ostensibly because of a delayed flight. He addressed the students for about 40 minutes.
Most of the students were looking forward to a long interaction session with the Congress’s youth icon, but only three students could ask him questions as Rahul was running out of time for his Rajkot visit.
—with inputs by Prashant Thakor and Asmita Dave