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Rahul’s fast a farce: BJP on Tytler, Sajjan Kumar’s presence

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra ridiculed the Congress’ fast, saying its leaders had come to Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial to talk about non-violence but the presence of Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler exposed the party’s “real violent” face.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2018 19:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,Congress,BJP
Congress president Rahul Gandhi arrives at Rajghat before stating day-long fast against caste violence, communalism and the non-functioning of Parliament at Rajghat, in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI Photo)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday mocked Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s fast at Rajghat as “farce” and described the party’s decision to keep the 1984 anti-Sikh riots accused Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler away from the main dais as its “admission of guilt”.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra ridiculed the opposition party’s fast against the alleged caste violence and communalism, saying its leaders had come to the Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial to talk about non-violence but the presence of Kumar and Tytler exposed the party’s “real violent” face.

“The Congress has fallen into its own trap. What we have seen from Rahul Gandhi today is not a fast but the farce of a fast. (It was) an attempt by his party to fast track his politics to burnish his credentials despite people rejecting him time and again,” he told reporters.

The Congress was forced to asked them to leave and it was its admission of guilt, he said.

Taking a dig at Gandhi over his attack on the Modi government over Dalit issues, Patra asked if he had abstained even from one meal when anti-Dalit violence had happened in places like Mirchpur, Gohana and Jhajjar when the Congress was in power.

A BJP leader had tweeted a picture of some Congress leaders, including Ajay Maken and Arvinder Singh Lovely, eating breakfast at a restaurant before the day-long event.

Lovely defended the Delhi Congress leaders’ meal, saying there was “nothing wrong in it”.

“I am not denying it. It is true we went to breakfast before 8am. It is a day-long fast not an indefinite fast, which started at 10.30am,” said Singh.

Citing figures of anti-Dalit violence in five years of the Congress rule in the poll-bound Karnataka, he said the state had reported 9,080 cases crimes against the community and over 358 Dalits were killed.

Gandhi should tell them when he plans to sit on a fast against crimes against Dalits in Karnataka, he asked.

Another BJP spokesperson Bizay Sonkar Shastri raked up the Congress’ alleged ill-treatment of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar and said it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had been working overtime to fulfil Ambedkar’s dreams.

Erstwhile prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had worked to ensure that Ambedkar lost his deposit in the first Lok Sabha elections, he claimed.

While Dalits believed in peaceful protests, it is the opposition which had fanned violence, he alleged.

The Congress has been “jolted” by the Dalits’ growing association of with the BJP, he said.

Patra and Shastri also quoted from Ambedkar’s resignation letter to quit the Nehru Cabinet in which the Dalit icon had accused the erstwhile PM of devoting his time only for protection of Muslims. While Ambedkar was equally committed to protect Muslims, the Nehru government did not do much to protect Dalits and tribals, they said quoting from the letter.

PM Modi ‘anti-Dalit’

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being “casteist” and “anti-Dalit”, and said his party will always stand against the BJP’s “oppressive” ideology.

Speaking to reporters at Rajghat, Gandhi also said the grand old party will defeat the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 general election.

“The entire country knows that PM Modi is anti-Dalit, it is not a secret...The BJP follows ideology of oppressing Dalits, tribals, minorities. We will stand against and defeat it in 2019 general polls,” Gandhi said.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Apr 09, 2018 17:41 IST