In his second visit to Amethi after the 2019 defeat, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his 'Hindu versus Hindutvawadi' salvo.
"On one side is Hindu. On the other is Hindutvawadi. On one side is truth, love and non-violence and on the other is falsehood, hatred and violence. "Hindutvawadi bathes alone in Ganga, but a Hindu will bathe with crores of others," Gandhi said at a public gathering, taking a swipe at the prime minister who recently inaugurated the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor in Varanasi after taking a holy dip. "Narendra Modi Ji says I am a Hindu, but when did he protect the truth.... (Is he) Hindu or Hindutvawadi," Gandhi said at a public gathering, raising the issue of jobs, China's incursions and farm laws.
The former Congress president and his sister and party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took out a padyatra (foot march) from Jagdishpur to village Harimau where Rahul Gandhi addressed a public meeting. "There is a lot of talk about religion in the country, about Hindu religion "The fight in India today is between Hindu and Hindutvawadi. On one side are the Hindus who tread the path of truth, and on the other side are Hindutvawadis, who spread hatred and can do anything for snatching power," Rahul Gandhi said.
He was a Member of Parliament from here for 15 years. He is visiting Amethi for the second time after losing the seat, which had been a pocket borough of the Nehru-Gandhi family, by 55,120 votes to BJP's Smriti Irani in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. There are five assembly seats in Amethi parliamentary constituency, out of which Amethi, Jagdishpur, Salon, Tiloi are held by the BJP. The Gauriganj seat is with the Samajwadi Party.
The Congress is trying to regain its turf in Amethi and Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming assembly polls. Rahul Gandhi said they have family ties with Amethi and "this relationship will never break". "A Hindu spends his entire life finding, understanding and fighting for truth. Hindu faces his fears and never lets it turn into hatred, anger or violence but Hindutvawadi only indulges in politics of lies and has nothing to do with the truth. He only uses lies to snatch power," Rahul Gandhi said.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, he said a Hindu fights against injustice while a Hindutvawadi is like Nathu Ram Godse. The leaders were taking part in the 'Jan Jagran Abhiyan-Bhajapa bhagao, mahgai hatao pratigya padyatra' organised against the policies of the Modi government. Congress workers accorded a warm reception to their leaders. Cutouts and reception gates were set up at various points to welcome them.
-With PTI Inputs