- Rahul Gandhi will contest from two seats- Wayanad and Amethi
- "Majority is in minority" in Wayanad, PM said, attacking Rahul Gandhi
- Mr Gandhi today accused PM of "running away from the real issues"
Rahul Gandhi challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a debate on national security, corruption and foreign policy today, reacting to the PM accusing him at a public rally of contesting in Kerala's Wayanad because he was afraid of being punished at his home constituency Amethi in Uttar Pradesh for the "Hindu terror" narrative.
The Congress president, who is contesting two seats for the first time, also explained that he was fighting from Wayanad because: "South India feels hostility from Narendra Modi; I wanted to send message, that I am standing with you."
On Monday, PM Modi had said in Maharashtra that the Congress was "afraid" because it had insulted Hindus by using the term "Hindu terror" and knew it would be punished by the community. He implied that was the reason why Rahul Gandhi had decided to contest in Wayanad, where "the majority is in a minority".
Asked about that speech at the Congress manifesto launch, Rahul Gandhi said: "All are Hindus, but there are no jobs. Narendra Modi is running away from the real issues, the issue of jobs, women's reservation... He is hiding in fear. I challenge him to a public debate on all these issues, on national security, corruption. Why don't you ask him questions the way you ask me questions? Why don't you ask him why he is afraid of holding an open press conference where any of you can ask any question? You ask me, but you all are afraid of him."
He added: "Narendra Modi may be afraid but we will defeat him."
Defending his move to contest from Kerala, Mr Gandhi said there was a "very strong feeling in south India that they were not being cared for by the current government. People in south India feel that they aren't being included in the decisions of the country. So, I wanted to send a message to south India, that we are with you and I am standing with you. That is why I am standing from Kerala."
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