Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi continued with his tirade on the secularism plank against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as he held two rallies in Hiamchal Pradesh on Thursday. The hill state has four Lok Sabha seats that go to polls on May 7.
Addressing a rally in Solan, Rahul accused the BJP leadership of dividing the country on the lines of caste and religion "by building up an atmosphere of anger". He cautioned the electorate about "the nefarious design of certain forces, solely aimed at capturing power by deceiving the people".
Bringing up the snooping row once again, in which Modi is alleged to have put surveillance on a young woman; he said the tapping of phones of a woman was "enough evidence about the mentality of certain BJP leaders".
Cautioning the people against Modi's favourite dialogue in which the BJP leader seeks 'keys of power as a chowkidar (watchman)', Rahul said, "Remember, sometimes even the chowkidar is found indulging in theft!"
Picking up the thread from his recent 'development model' rhetoric, Rahul termed the election as a fight of ideologies, "While the Congress always worked to put the nation on the path of development by ensuring active participation of the common man, the BJP is siding only with big business houses." Without expressly naming BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi, Rahul said that "unlike other arrogant politicians", he always used the word 'we' in his speeches so as to give the credit to the entire Congress.
Lauding the efforts of CM Virbhadra Singh, Rahul said the Congress had helped in speedy industrialisation and also established a central university, an IIT and other institutions. Virbhadra, in his speech, castigated the BJP for "spreading canards" and listed the achievements of his government.
Union minister Anand Sharma and state Congress president Sukhwinder Sukhu also spoke, while party candidate Brakta, union minister Rajeev Shukla and HP leaders Vidya Stokes, DR Shandil, Rahul Singh Thakur, Arvind Gupta and Vinod Sultanpuri were present too.