Rahul doubts PM's "Kerala dear to me" remark

Congress president Rahul Gandhi Sunday accused the Centre under Prime Minister Narendra Modi of according step-motherly treatment to the states not ruled by the BJP, which he dubbed as a party "blinded by hate and anger".

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Rahul doubts PM's "Kerala dear to me" remark
Congress President Rahul Gandhi being blessed by an elderly man during his visit in Wayanad on Saturday. (ANI Photo)


     Congress president Rahul Gandhi Sunday accused the Centre under Prime Minister Narendra Modi of according step-motherly treatment to the states not ruled by the BJP, which he dubbed as a party "blinded by hate and anger".

    The Congress president made the allegations, doubting Modi's remarks on Saturday that Kerala from where the BJP won no Lok Sabha seat, was as dear to him as his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.

    Winding up his three-day thanksgiving visit to the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency from where he was elected in the recent polls, Rahul Gandhi said the BJP viewed those not following the RSS ideology as non-Indians and vowed to fight out the alleged bias.

    Gandhi, who held over 10 roadshows across his constituency spread over three districts of Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikode, left for New Delhi from the Kozhikode airport this afternoon.

    On the final day of his tour, he held roadshows at Engapuzha and Mukkam, two small towns in Kozhikode district to thank voters. He chose the occasion also to attack Modi and the BJP.

    Addressing people during his roadshows, Rahul Gandhi said Modi divided Indians for which the country will have to pay the price.

    "I do not expect the prime minister to safeguard Kerala's interest. I know from my experience that the prime minister views the BJP-ruled states differently from the states ruled by the Congress or other parties," he said.

    "I know the prime minister will not treat Kerala the same way he treats Uttar Pradesh because the CPI(M) is ruling here. He can come here and say whatever he wants," he said, referring to Modi's speech at Guruvayur in Kerala Saturday.

    After offering prayers at the famous Sri Krishna temple, Modi Saturday said the Bharatiya Janata Party was not working for mere electoral politics but was working to ensure that India gets its place of pride in the international arena.

    "Elections have their place in democracy and it is the responsibility of the winner to take care of all 130 crore people. Those who made us win and those who could not, both are our (people). Kerala is as dear to me as Varanasi," he had said, referring to his Lok Sabha constituency in UP.

    The Congress chief, however, said he did not think the prime minister would be "fair" either to Wayanad or to Kerala and he did not expect cooperation from him and the BJP-led Central government for its development.

    Referring to his meeting Saturday with the CPI-M MLA representing Kalpeta, which falls under the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, Gandhi said there might be "ideological differences" (between the Congress and the Left), but both would work together for Wayanad's development, setting aside their differences.

    "We might have ideological differences and we will continue to fight along those lines. But there are many things which we agree on for the future of Wayanad. On those things I would like to cooperate," he said.

    "Sad part is, I do not expect any such cooperation from our prime minister or from the BJP. Because they are blinded by hatred. They are blinded by anger. Because either you follow the ideology of RSS or you are not an Indian," he said.

    Vowing to fight out this alleged bias, the Congress chief said, "I promise you that we will not be ruled by Nagpur (the RSS headquarters)." Speaking at Mukkam, he said no country has strengthened by division of its people.

    "Narendra Modi divides Indians. His is basically the idea of division. People are angry in India today. The division is going to be a disaster for the country," said Gandhi.

    As in the last two days, hundreds of party workers and locals, including women and children, greeted Gandhi during road shows at Engapuzha and Mukkam, many of them wearing T-shirts carrying "Rahul we need you" and "Rahul pada" (army) slogans.

    Earlier in the day, Gandhi spent some time to meet Rajamma Vavathil, a retired nurse from the state who had taken care of him at Delhi's Holy Family Hospital after his birth on June 19, 1970.

    She came along with her husband and grandchildren to meet Gandhi at a guest house in Kozhikode.

    On the nostalgic meeting, Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala tweeted, "The hands that received little Rahul five decades back embraced him again today. Rajamma was working as nurse at Delhi Holy Cross Hospital during 1970s, when Rahulji was born." The AICC chief had visited Wayanad for the first time after winning from here.

    The Congress-led UDF swept the polls in Kerala, winning 19 of the 20 seats.

    Gandhi had lost to Union Minister Smriti Irani in his pocket borough of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh in the polls.


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