- Rahul Gandhi said he is reading texts like Gita to counter BJP
- If he reads these, he will want to join RSS, says Indresh Kumar
- Beef, like tobacco, is bad habit, government must prevent it: Kumar
The RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh is the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr Gandhi said last week in Chennai that to take on the BJP and its mentor, who are committed to a Hindu nationalist agenda, he is reading texts like the Gita and Upanishads, ancient and sacred texts for Hindus. "If he reads (the texts), he wouldn't want to fight RSS, he will want to befriend RSS. I invite him and all opposition leaders to come to shakhas," said Mr Kumar.
At a time when the BJP is the undisputed dominant political force in the country, the crackdown on abbatoirs, succeeded by a diktat banning the sale of cattle for slaughter at open markets is being seen as a big filip to right-wing hardliner groups and cow vigilantes who have been attacking cattle traders and slaughterhouses. The centre's ban on cattle trade for slaughter has provoked large protests from states including Kerala and several in the North East which say that beef-eating is part of cultural and culinary tradition. Mr Kumar's response to that: "If you have a bad habit, should you continue? It is the government's duty to stop bad habits like tobacco...this is the same thing."
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.