Modi’s ‘Kerala dear to me’ remark: Rahul Gandhi says PM considers BJP and non-BJP states differently

Thanking the voters of the Wayanad for electing him, Gandhi claimed that the ruling BJP was blinded by "hatred and anger" and viewed those not following the RSS ideology not as Indians while vowing to fight it.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Sunday rejected Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that Kerala was as dear to him as Varanasi and alleged that the PM was meting out step-motherly treatment to states not ruled by the BJP.

“The prime minister considers BJP-ruled states and non-BJP ruled states differently. I know, he will never consider Kerala the way he considers Uttar Pradesh because the CPI(M) is ruling here,” he said, referring to Modi’s speech in Kerala’s Guruvayur on Saturday.

Gandhi was addressing a crowd at Engapuzha, a tiny town in Kozhikode district and part of Wayanad, after a roadshow on the third and final day of his thanksgiving visit to the constituency.

Thanking the voters of Wayanad for electing him, Gandhi claimed that the ruling BJP was blinded by “hatred and anger” and those not following the RSS ideology were not viewed as Indians by the party.

“Because they are blinded by hatred and anger…because either you follow the ideology of the RSS or you are not an Indian…We will fight that and I promise you that we will not be ruled by Nagpur (where the RSS is based),” Gandhi said.

Referring to his Saturday meeting with the CPI(M) MLA from Kalpeta, which falls under the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, Gandhi said there might be “ideological differences” (between the Congress and the Left), but those would be set aside so that both the parties can work together for Wayanad’s development. “But, such cooperation was not coming from the prime minister and the BJP,” he charged.

After offering prayers at the famous Krishna temple in Guruvayur, Modi on Saturday had said the BJP was not working for mere electoral politics. He said the party was keen on building the country and ensure that India got its place of pride at the global stage.

“Elections have their place in democracy and it is the responsibility of the winner to take care of the 130 crore people. Those who made us win or those who did not, both are our (people). Kerala is as dear to me as Varanasi,” he had said.

The Congress president, however, said he was not expecting any cooperation from the prime minister and the Central government for the development of Wayanad and Kerala.

The Congress chief, who is on his first post-poll visit to Wayanad, the lone seat he won in the Lok Sabha elections with a majority of 4.31 lakh votes, addressed party workers at various districts in Wayanad over the past three days. Gandhi lost from his family bastion Amethi to Union minister Smriti Irani in the Uttar Pradesh constituency.

On Saturday too, Gandhi had spoken on similar lines while addressing a gathering in Kalpetta. He had said the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha election campaign was filled with “lies, poison and hatred”, whereas his party stood for truth, love and affection.

At the national level, we are fighting poison. Modi’s campaign was filled with lies, poison, hatred and divided the people of the country. He used lies in the election… Congress stood for truth, love and affection,” Gandhi had said.

On Friday, he had promised to remain committed to defend people under attack by Modi, saying, “The current government and Mr Narendra Modi spread hatred in the country and the Congress party knows and understands that the only way to combat hatred is through love and affection.”

Like the two previous days, Sunday too saw hundreds of Congress supporters and locals, including women and children, greet Gandhi during the roadshow at Engapuzha. Many people were seen wearing T-shirts with “Rahul we need you” and “Rahul pada” (army) written on them.

After the Congress party’s poor show in the second consecutive general election, Gandhi had offered to resign as the Congress president, but it was rejected by the party’s highest decision-making body. The Congress won 52 seats in the 2019 polls, out of which the party and its allies won 19 out of 20 seats from Kerala.

(With inputs form PTI)

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