The BJP on Wednesday accused Rahul Gandhi of maligning the country's image and sowing the seeds of hatred after the Congress leader attacked the ruling party over the use of bulldozers in riot-hit areas of Delhi and states like Madhya Pradesh.
Replying to a question on Mr Gandhi's comments, Union minister Anurag Thakur said in an apparent reference to the opposition party, "This is all you can expect from someone whose history is linked to corruption and riots."
"He is doing no good to the country by sowing the seeds of hatred. He is maligning the country's image," Mr Thakur told a press conference where he highlighted the government's work during 'Azadi ka amrit mahotsav', an exercise aimed at celebrating India's 75th anniversary of Independence.
Mr Gandhi had attacked the government over the use of bulldozers in violence-hit areas of Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to switch off "bulldozers of hate" and switch on power plants.
The BJP leader also hit back at the Aam Aadmi Party for accusing the ruling party of instigating riots and saying that its headquarters should be bulldozed.
It is a party which goes to the extent of compromising with terrorists for power, Mr Thakur alleged.
Politics is meant to change society with ideology and policies but some people are determined to lower its standards, he added.
Speaking about the ongoing 'Azadi ka amrit mahotsav', he said since the launch of the programme by the prime minister in Sabarmati on March 12, 2021, which had coincided with Mahatma Gandhi's iconic Dandi march, over 25,000 events have been held across the country and also abroad by April 18 this year.
Over 50 programmes have been held on an average daily.
While central government departments have organised 8,616 programmes, states and union territories have held 9,516 events, he said.
Earlier governments focussed on highlighting the contribution of a select group of people, he said in a swipe at earlier Congress dispensations and added that now the focus has also been on a large number of unsung heroes who also played valuable roles in the freedom movement.
Mr Thakur said the Modi government has worked to connect people with the nation's cultural and historical heritage through the exercise. The prime minister himself unveiled the hologram statue of Subhas Chandra Bose while a 225 ft long national flag made of khadi was unfurled in Ladakh, he added.
He also mentioned the recent inauguration of the prime ministers' museum in the national capital by PM Modi in the regard.
The 'mahotsav', he said, is an exercise of national awakening and is a festival of realising the dreams of good governance, global peace and development, Mr Thakur said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)