Prime Minister Narendra Modi is turning to hate politics because he fears losing the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday at a party poll rally in his Lok Sabha constituency.
Gandhi taunted the BJP leader that his anxiety increased after the Congress and the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) formed a coalition to contest the seven-phase UP assembly polls together.
“He was happy till the formation of the Congress-SP alliance. His mood changed thereafter and so has his expression. He is resorting to spreading hatred,” he said at the Ramlila grounds in Amethi, which votes in the fifth phase on February 27.
The alliance is up for a friendly fight in the Amethi assembly constituency with the SP’s rape-accused minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati contesting against the Congress’s Rani Amita Singh.
SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was unhappy with the tie-up, was scheduled to campaign for his close aide, Prajapati, when the Congress vice president was touring the region. But the SP founder saved the alliance an embarrassment by cancelling his visit on Wednesday
Gandhi reciprocated the gesture by not uttering a word against Prajapati or any other SP candidate fielded against his party’s nominees. The two parties are up against each other in four of 10 assembly seats within the Rae Bareli and Amethi parliamentary segments, which Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son, the vice president, represent in the Lok Sabha.
Instead, the Congress leader used the occasion to target Prime Minister Modi.
He took a jibe at Modi’s frequent reference to Sardar Patel at rallies. Gandhi said the BJP is bankrupt of leaders of the stature of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhimrao Ambedkar.
“I also know that your leaders had bowed their heads and tendered an apology to the British. Now, you need leaders like Patel. You can make use of them, if you want to. But do not divide them. You want to associate Patel with the RSS. You will never be able to do so,” he said.
Gandhi accused the Prime Minister of cancelling projects that he had initiated for the development Amethi and Rae Bareli. Moves to cancel a mega food park, Hindustan Paper Mills and shift a proposed Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) out of Amethi have hurt the people, he said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi too had made a similar accusation against Modi of blocking funds for welfare schemes in Rae Bareli and Amethi, the Nehru-Gandhi bastions. She said as much in an open and emotional letter to voters of these constituencies on Wednesday.
Her son stressed the need to promote local brands and promised a Congress-SP alliance government in UP will encourage the youth to set up manufacturing units.
“Modiji’s jacket has a made-in-China tag. When he goes to the US next time, the tag on his jacket will be made in UP,” he said.
Gandhi was on a whirlwind tour of Amethi, where he sought votes for Rani Amita Singh, wife of Congress Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh.
Singh’s estranged wife Rani Garima Singh is contesting on a BJP ticket.