Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of humiliating BJP veteran L.K. Advani.
At a rally here, he said disrespecting one’s guru was not part of Hindu culture and those who “ill-treat” their teachers cannot claim to be custodians of the religion. He described the PM as the epitome of hate, anger and divisive ideology.
“Narendra Modi ji is talking of Hinduism, but look at what he has done to his own guru: L.K. Advani. He not only insulted Mr. Advani but also thrashed him with shoes and shooed him away from the BJP stage. Is this what the Hindu religion teaches? Is this what Hindu philosophy is about?”
Mr. Advani in his latest blog, ‘Nation First, Party Next, Self Last’ , had claimed that the BJP never regarded those who disagree with it politically as its enemies, but only as adversaries. Mr. Modi later tweeted that he respected Mr. Advani’s views. “This coming elections is a battle of ideologies and the Congress ideology of brotherhood, love and harmony will win against Mr. Modi’s hate and anger,” Mr. Gandhi said.
In his speech, Mr. Gandhi also alleged the Balakot air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan were an attempt to divert attention from the government’s move to hand out tenders to the Adani Group to operate five airports.
‘Adani awarded airport tenders amid air strikes’
Accusing Mr. Modi of crony capitalism, Mr. Gandhi said while the Indian Air Force was carrying out the pre-emptive strikes, Mr. Modi ensured that the Adani Group was smoothly handed a tender by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
“Nobody reported and talked about it [privatisation of airports] as it was done in the guise of the air strikes.” In February, the Adani Group had won a tender to upgrade and operate airports at Lucknow, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, Mangaluru and Ahmedabad.
Addressing thousands of voters who had gathered despite the scorching 44 degree heat, Mr. Gandhi said the “[Vijay] Mallyas, [Nirav] Modis and [Mehul] Choksis of the world are getting away after looting the nation while farmers who cannot pay small loans are going to jail.”
“There is no dearth of money...they [the government] are just creating confusion in your minds. If the farmers and traders ask for money, the government says it has none. But if Anil Ambani asks for it, there seems to be no dearth of it,” the Congress leader said.
Mr. Gandhi added, “The world’s biggest defence contract [Dassault Rafale] was handed over to [Anil] Ambani even as the UPA government had decided to manufacture the aircraft domestically. But Modi ji went to France and spoke to the French President, sidelining HAL [Hindustan Aeronautics Limited] and offering the contract to Anil Ambani.”
Mr. Modi wanted to divide India into two halves: one that belonged to Anil Ambani and other to distressed farmers, troubled traders and poor tribals. “The demonetisation has destroyed industries in this part of the country [Vidarbha], but the rich like the Choksis and the [Nirav] Modis got away with your money and fled the country. Vidarbha farmer takes a loan and if he cannot return is sent to jail. But Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi do not. Why this injustice,” he asked.