'Appeasement' Vs 'Hatred' As PM, Sonia Gandhi Slug It Out On Polling Day

Mrs Gandhi said her party and the INDIA alliance are dedicated to protecting democracy.

New Delhi:

Lashing out at Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and accusing them of practising the politics of appeasement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Congress matriarch cried for the terrorists who were killed in the Batla House encounter of 2008.

The PM’s attack was a reference to Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s statement from 2012 that Mrs Gandhi, who was the party chief at the time, had “wept bitterly” when she was shown images of the Batla House encounter. 

PM Modi’s statements came on a day when the Lok Sabha polls crossed its halfway mark in terms of the number of constituencies that have voted, and hours after Sonia Gandhi accused him and the BJP of promoting hatred for political gain. 

Latching on to a claim by Congress leader and Maharashtra Leader of the Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar that one of the heroes of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, former Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, was killed not by Ajmal Kasab –  the lone terrorist behind the attack who was caught alive – but a policeman affiliated to the RSS, Mr Modi said at a rally in Maharashtra’s Beed on Tuesday that the state Congress is giving a clean chit to terrorists involved in the attacks. 

“It seems the Congress is supporting all 10 terrorists, including Kasab, who came from Pakistan. The nation wants to ask what the relationship between the Congress and terrorists is called. The country has not forgotten when terrorists were welcomed into the Prime Minister’s residence during the Congress’ rule,” he said in Hindi. 

Without naming Sonia Gandhi, he continued, “The country also saw the day when the party’s biggest leader wept for terrorists killed during the Batla House encounter in Delhi. The INDI alliance, which wants to bring such days back to the country, should remember that Modi is standing in front of you like a rock. 

PM Modi claimed the INDIA alliance plans to put “mission cancel” in motion if it comes to power and will bring back Article 370, roll back the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Triple Talaq law and even stop the distribution of free ration to the poor.  

Keeping up with the appeasement theme, the Prime Minister said that another big agenda was the “cancellation of” the Ram temple in Ayodhya. 

“A veteran Congress leader, who was with the party for 20-25 years and joined the BJP recently, has made a shocking revelation. He said that when the court had ruled in favour of the construction of the Ram temple (in 2019), the ‘shahzada’ (Rahul Gandhi) organised a meeting of his key people, where he said that the Congress would overturn the Supreme Court order when it forms the government,” he claimed. 

He said Rahul Gandhi’s father, Rajiv Gandhi, had also overturned the Supreme Court judgment in the Shah Bano case in 1985 in keeping with the appeasement politics followed by the Congress. 

‘Power At All Costs’

Earlier in the day, Mrs Gandhi issued a video message in which she said that the BJP’s only goal was to gain power at any cost and that it has promoted hatred for political gain.

“In every part of the country, the youth are facing unemployment, women are enduring atrocities, and Dalit, adivasis and the backward castes are suffering intense discrimination. This environment is because of the intentions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, who want to win power at any cost. They are promoting hatred for political gain,” she said in Hindi.

“The Congress Party and I have always fought to strengthen the country and ensure the progress of all as well as justice for the deprived. Today, I am seeking your support once again. Our Nyay Patra (manifesto) and our guarantees are aimed at keeping the country united and giving strength to the poor, women, farmers, workers and deprived communities,” she said.

Mrs Gandhi said her party and the INDIA alliance are dedicated to protecting democracy and the Constitution as she made an appeal to the people to vote for the Congress and ensure a bright future for everyone.