Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday took a swipe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on the concluding day of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, stating that the snowball fight between Mr. Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Vadra had been possible only after the Modi government withdrew the special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
“You saw Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi playing with snowballs in Srinagar, but they forgot to thank PM Modi,” Mr. Thakur said, lauding the Prime Minister for revoking the special status given under Article 370 and 35A. “Now there is peace and tourism has also increased,” he added.
Mr. Thakur also drew attention to the fact that in January 2011, when he — as the president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha — had set out to hoist the Tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar but was prevented from doing so by the then UPA government. The Congress had been able to hoist the Tricolour there on Sunday, he pointed out.
“In 1992, then BJP president Murli Manohar Joshiji along with Prime Minister Modi had hoisted the tricolour at Lal Chowk under the shadow of guns. In 1953, the founder of the Jan Sangh, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, had been arrested and found dead under mysterious cirucmstances in Jammu and Kashmir, all because he was committed to Jammu and Kashmir being an inviolate part of the country,” Mr. Thakur said.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi questioned the credentials of several participants of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. “It was a politically motivated yatra. During the yatra, Congress leaders had a beef party on the roads of Kerala; pastor George Ponniah termed the land of India impure,” Mr. Trivedi said.
He said the former Congress president’s co-travellers included Kanhaiya Kumar who was “associated with the tukde tukde gang”, and Digvijaya Singh who had raised questions over the 2019 surgical strike against Pakistan. “With these hatemongers, what campaign of love of Rahul Gandhi is running?” he said.