‘Fake news’: Congress slams BJP leader over Rahul Gandhi's 'tapasya-pooja' clip

Updated on Jan 08, 2023 08:00 PM IST

In a video shared by Amit Malviya, Rahul Gandhi can be purportedly heard saying, “This country is a country of “tapasvis” (ascetics), not priests."

Bharatiya Janata Party IT-cell head Amit Malviya and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Bharatiya Janata Party IT-cell head Amit Malviya and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
By, New Delhi

The Congress on Sunday hit out at Bharatiya Janata Party IT-cell head Amit Malviya for sharing what it claimed was a “fake news” about its senior leader Rahul Gandhi.

By sharing a seven-second video clip of Rahul Gandhi's press conference in Karnal during the Congress's ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra, Malviya took a dig at the former, to which Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate responded by sharing a longer version of the video clip.

In a video shared by the BJP leader, Rahul Gandhi can be purportedly heard saying, “This country is a country of “tapasvis” (ascetics), not priests."

Along with the video, Malviya wrote, “You have problems with priests as well.”

BJP MLA Shalabh Mani Tripathi also shared the same video and commented, “The Congress has been drowned by the insult of Hindutva, keep talking like this and keep writing the script of your destruction!!" he said. Supriya Shrinate hits back Supriya Shrinate hit back at Malviya by sharing the longer version of the video.

In this video, Rahul Gandhi can be heard saying, “The BJP and the RSS say there should not be respect of 'tapasya' and those who do their 'pooja' (worship), only they should be respected. Did demonetisation respect the 'tapasya' of the poor? Certainly not. It was an attack on 'tapasya… The BJP and the RSS are taking the country towards 'forced pooja' using of wealth, capturing institutions and making people fear.”

Sharing the video, Shrinate, tweeted in Hindi, “Fake news gangsters, hypocrites like you BJP 'priests' want to get their worship done - by disrespecting the penance of the people of this country. It's a serious matter, a little above your level - but don't get attached, maybe one day you will become understandable.”

What did Rahul Gandhi say?

Rahul Gandhi claimed, “I was an ascetic and continue to be one. This is a country of ascetics. We do not respect tapasya enough, but, I do. This is the change I want to bring about. This is a country of ascetics and not those who do pooja (Pujaris). This is the reality of India.”

What else Rahul Gandhi said?

Rahul Gandhi said the Bharat Jodo Yatra was against hatred and fear being spread in society as well as unemployment and inflation. On the yatra, Gandhi said, “We are seeing it as ‘tapasya’, suggesting the foot march was about austerity and self-meditation. The Congress believes in 'tapasya', while the BJP is an organisation of ‘pooja’”.

The BJP and the RSS do not respect 'tapasya' but want that people who do their 'pooja' (worship) be respected only, he added.

“The day when the RSS controlled the institutions of this country, the fight did not remain political. Now, this has become a different fight. You may call it a fight of ideology, dharam ki fight, or you can give it any framework, but this is not a political fight.”

“If you look at Congress party's history, what you (reporter) said there is an energy in workers. It is an organisation of 'tapasya'…” he said.

He said the Congress’ response is only one and it is 'tapasya' and nothing else.

“That is why this yatra is successful. Because not only the Congress or one individual is doing 'tapasya', lakhs are doing 'tapasya', it is the message of yatra,” Gandhi said.

He said there should be respect for 'tapasya', of skill and work.

(With inputs from PTI)

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    Have 11 years' experience in print and digital media. Write on politics, defence and world affairs, and have a keen eye for human-interest stories.

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