Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "party for Muslim men" remarks against it, the Congress today dubbed the BJP as the "new version of East India Company" that was trying to sow seeds of hatred and division in the country to continue its rule like the British coloniser.
The opposition party also vehemently refuted reports that claimed Rahul Gandhi had told a meeting of Muslim intellectuals that Congress is a "party for Muslims".
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the Prime Minister was using the "bogey of minority" to evade issues related to governance as he has "failed on all fronts".
"The Prime Minister wants to skirt issues of governance and that is why East India Company's new version is the Bharatiya Janata Party. Divide and rule was the ideology of East India company then and it is the same ideology followed by the BJP now. Whereas, Congress party belongs to people of every religion," he told reporters.
Mr Surjewala said the Congress will defeat the "divisive" agenda of the Modi government.
"The Congress party shall continue to point out that Modi ji uses the bogey of minority to divide this country just like East India Company did.
"So, Modi ji your East India Company will not succeed and will wither away just like the Indian National Congress fought and decimated the East India Company of Britishers. We will, with common resolve and dedication and with interest of all Indians in mind, take on the might of the divisive agenda of your government," he said.
The Congress leader denied media reports that quoted a party leader as saying that Rahul Gandhi had told a meeting that Congress is a "party for Muslims".
Congress minority department head Nadeem Javed, who was quoted by an Urdu daily, also denied having said so and claimed that he was being "misquoted".
Mr Surjewala said the particular newspaper or its representative was not present in the meeting of Muslim intellectuals with Mr Gandhi last week.
Latching onto the remarks attributed to Rahul Gandhi, PM Modi had taken a swipe at the Congress saying it was a "party for Muslim men" only as it was opposing the tripe talaq bill which would benefit Muslim women.
Mr Surjewala alleged that the Modi government instead of uniting the multicultural nation, "is sowing seeds of hatred amongst Indians".
"The current regime of India, is in fact, descendants of people who divided India and collaborated with British. Today they are polarising people to satisfy their lust for power," he alleged.
Mr Surjewala claimed Modi has failed as Prime Minister and is facing defeat in the 2019 general elections.
"The entire BJP and the prime minister are now dependent upon only one thing - polarize, polarize and polarize - like the East India Company - the simple principle that Prime Minister and the BJP follow today - divide, divide and divide even more.
"They are doing everything at their disposal to ensure that the atmosphere of hatred and division between communities becomes so prominent that the issues of governance and delivery fall into inconsequence.
"That nobody asks the Prime Minister - where are 'Achhe Din'... Where are the businesses and trades flourishing? Where are the jobs 2 crore per year that Prime Minister promised? When will people of India get Rs. 15 lakhs in their account? When will be the black money account holders be held accountable and be sent behind bars," he said.
The Congress leader claimed that Rahul Gandhi had said that Congress Party belongs to 132 crore Indians.
"The Congress party represents every Hindu, every Sikh, every Christian, every Muslim, every Jain, every Buddhist, as also those tribal friends who perhaps do not even follow a religion - some of the principal religions.
"So Congress represents everybody. We are the party with freedom struggle and that is what we represent," he said.
Mr Surjewala alleged that in last 50 months, Modi government failed to keep the promises it had made in 2014 to the youths on jobs, farmers on MSP, and bringing back black money.
He said Indian culture represents non-violence, sacrifice and acceptance as propagated by Mahatma Gandhi and "Godse's ideology can never defeat Mahatma Gandhi's ideology".
Mr Surjewala also targeted the PM over the incident of tent collapse at his rally in Midnapore today, alleging that when the injured were crying for help, he chose to continue his speech.
"Bengal and the entire country today witnessed a new insensitive face of Modi," Mr Surjewala said.
He claimed that Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee was conspiring with the British to form government in Bengal at a time when the Congress was fighting the British to free the country from colonial rule.
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