The Congress on Friday hit out at the BJP for accusing Rahul Gandhi of being “anti-national”, saying he does not need a “certificate of patriotism” from a party which has a “dubious distinction of presiding over the attack on Parliament and escorting dreaded terrorists to Afghanistan in a special plane”.
“It is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black,” said Punjab Congress chief and the party’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, Captain Amarinder Singh. The Congress also took credit for hanging Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab who was involved in Mumbai terror strikes. Ironically, the JNU row had started from an event that had termed Afzal’s hanging as “judicial killing”.
The statement came after, accusing Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi of supporting “anti-national” students at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Punjab BJP leader and former state minister Manoranjan Kalia had said in Jalandhar that Rahul should be “sent to Pakistan”.
“If Rahul was indeed doing the right thing, then why did he have to clarify that nationalism runs in his blood?” Kalia asked.
Amarinder’s retort said, “The BJP’s rabble-rousing notwithstanding, it has a weak case when it comes to nationalistic and patriotic credentials and that too in comparison with the Congress.”
Defending Rahul for supporting the JNU students, he said the Congress V-P had made it amply clear that he stood by the freedom of speech and expression and “at the same time strongly rejected, opposed and condemned anything that was anti-national”.
“No wonder the BJP was trying to accuse Rahul and blaming him for something that is defied both by logic as well as history... Rahul’s patriotic and nationalistic credentials are too strong for the BJP to comment upon, leave aside criticising him,” Amarinder said, adding that Rahul’s father Rajiv Gandhi and grandmother Indira Gandhi had laid down their lives “to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country”. (with PTI inputs)