Narendra Modi sees threat in me, says Rahul.

May 11, 2018

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sees a threat in him and is seeking to distract voters by talking of his Italian roots and calling him an “election Hindu”. 

“The PM sees me as a threat. Mr Modi has anger for everybody, not only for me. I am a lightning rod for that anger. I have learnt to deal with his attacks, I am not going to let him destroy or create anger,” said Rahul, two days after he said he was ready to be the PM if his party wins the majority in the Lok Sabha polls. 

“This election is not about me or the PM,” Gandhi said at a press conference, wrapping up his campaign in Karnataka. “It is about the people of Karnataka. PM’s discourse is disrespectful to the people. He makes personal attacks and talks about everything else except what people in Karnataka want to hear, like development and jobs. He talks about seaplane, bullet train but not about helping farmers.” The upcoming elections, Gandhi said, was about the “spirit of Karnataka” and the principles of democracy and equality that 12th century poet-reformer Basavanna propounded to his followers, the Lingayats. “It is about the spirit of Karnataka and Basavanna versus the RSS. RSS is trying to take over your state, your food, your language, your way of life. We are the ones who are trying to protect these,” he said. Brushing aside Modi’s contention that the Congress was trying to rig the elections through fake voter IDs, Gandhi said: “A man says whatever is there in his heart. He is saying this because he knows he going to lose Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and in the 2019 general elections”. 

On being called an “election Hindu”, Gandhi said: “I have been going to places of worship for the past 15 years. There are many different ways in which people express themselves, including religious beliefs and language. As a leader, my job is to stand with them.” 

The Congress president said being a “Hindu” was a perspective and a viewpoint rather than a religion. The attacks on him, were “a demonstration of how they (BJP) view their religion. I don’t view mine like that,” he contended. On the reference to his Italian roots and Modi referring to his mother Sonia by her maiden name Maino, Gandhi said: “My mother is Italian. She has spent most of her life in India. She has sacrificed and suffered for this country. It shows the quality of the PM when he makes this type of comments.” 

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