Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday criticised Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah’s remark equating opposition parties with animals at a rally in Mumbai two days ago. Gandhi said this showed the Shah’s attitude and the culture he had imbibed from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).“This election is a fight between two ideologies... you have the RSS and Shah, an ideology that doesn’t respect the average human being,” Gandhi said at a rally in Bengaluru that marked the conclusion of his Janashirvada Yatra in Karnataka ahead of the assembly polls on May 12. For the second successive day, Gandhi kept the focus on Shah’s remark that when huge floods occur, only a banyan tree survives and snakes, mongooses, dogs, cats and other animals climb to save themselves from the rising waters. Incidentally, Shah said at a press meet what he meant with his remark in Mumbai was political parties having no ideological similarities were coming together out of fear of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Gandhi, however, kept up the attack. “The BJP president can publicly state that all opposition are animals. This is a reflection on his way of thinking, on his culture, and on what he has been taught.” He said the Karnataka polls were a fight against an ideology that wanted to destroy the culture of Bengaluru. “It is an idea that does not respect the cosmopolitan culture of this city, the multitude of ideas, the women, the poor, and the multiple languages spoken in this city.” He said the Congress would do everything to protect this way of life. Earlier in the day, Gandhi met pourakarmikas (safai karamcharis) and industrialists in the city. He also took a ride on Bengaluru metro rail, and visited a bookstore. Responding to Gandhi’s comments, state BJP spokesperson S Prakash said it was the Congress that was against the cosmopolitan culture of the city. “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the state government have not promoted cosmopolitanism in the city,” he said. “Besides, the Congress has done precious little for the city in terms of infrastructure,” he added. Regarding Gandhi’s comments on Shah’s remark in Mumbai, Prakash said the BJP president had already said what he had to about it. “The fact that he is bringing this up repeatedly shows that he has no issues to target the BJP.”RSS leaders in Karnataka could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.