- PM said Congress "afraid" to field candidates from majority-strong seats
- PM launched BJP-Shiv Sena alliance's campaign in Wardha
- Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Kerala's Wayanad apart from Amethi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, apparently attacking Rahul Gandhi over his decision to contest from a second seat, Kerala's Wayanad, in this month's national election, said today that the Congress was "afraid" of fielding candidates from constituencies dominated by majority population because it had insulted Hindus by using the term "Hindu terror". The Congress had branded "peace-loving Hindus" as terrorists and knew it would be punished by the community, PM Modi said at a rally in Maharashtra, offering his theory of why Rahul Gandhi had decided to contest a second seat apart from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
"The Congress insulted Hindus. People have decided to punish it in the election. Leaders of that party are now scared of contesting from constituencies dominated by majority (Hindu) population. That is why they are forced to take refuge in places where the majority is in a minority," PM Modi said, launching the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance's campaign for the April-May national election in Wardha.
"Congress used the term 'Hindu terror'...it labelled peace-loving Hindus as terrorists...is there a single incident of Hindu terrorism? The people will never forgive the Congress for this insult," PM Modi said.
Reacting to the comments, the Congress demanded PM Modi's apology and sought an action against him by the Election Commission. "He must apologise to the nation. He has insulted the freedom movement, he has insulted entire southern India, he has insulted the composite culture of India, he has insulted the India that is unified by its multiple cultures as also languages, religions, castes and creeds. The Election Commission must take note of this and take action against Narendra Modi," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
He also accused the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party of questioning the valour of soldiers and insulting them after the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent air strike by the Indian Air Force targeting a terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot. "These parties spoke the language of Pakistan," he said.
The Congress announced on the weekend that Rahul Gandhi would contest from Wayanad, a move that the party calls its outreach to the southern states. The BJP, however, says the move reflects that Rahul Gandhi is not confident of his three-time constituency Amethi, so decided to contest from another seat this time.