Thoubal (Manipur): In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday accused him of using faith for electoral gain and said “one should not do dhongbaazi (deception) for votes”.
Addressing the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra flag-off rally here, Kharge alleged that Modi comes to Manipur for votes but when people were in trouble, he did not visit.
The ethnic violence in the northeastern state, which broke out in May last year, has claimed more than 180 lives and rendered thousands homeless.
“Wo samandar ke upar sair karte firte hai, aur jap karte baithte hain — Ram Ram Ram Ram (He is seen enjoying the sea, sitting and chanting Ram Ram). ‘Mukh mein Ram, bagal mein churi’, don’t do this with the people,” the Congress president said referring to the Hindi idiom that cautions against people whose words and actions differ.
“Everybody has faith in God and remembers God, there is no doubt about that, but don’t do this for votes. One should not do ‘dhongbaazi’ for securing votes,” Kharge said.
He said one should fight for ones principles. “We fight for secularism, equality, social justice, for saving the Constitution, you also do the same. These (BJP) people mix religion with politics and incite people,” Kharge said.
He said the Congress is with the people and fighting for them.
“We raised questions in Parliament, but the government did not answer and suspended 146 people and we said this is undemocratic but they did not listen to us,” Kharge said.
They want to turn Parliament and pass bills by keeping the opposition out, he alleged.
Kharge also alleged that a dictatorial attitude is prevailing in the country and the BJP is trying to finish democracy.
Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra is being undertaken to save the Constitution and democracy, and fight the fascist forces, he said.
The Congress president said he was proud that a leader of his party was moving from door-to-door to spread the message of peace.
The Manipur-to-Maharashtra yatra will traverse 6,713 km, mostly in buses. It will cover 100 Lok Sabha constituencies, 110 districts in 67 days, before culminating in Mumbai on March 20 or 21.
Earlier, Kharge unveiled the bus on which Gandhi and other Congress leaders will travel from Manipur to Mumbai as part of the yatra.
Taking a swipe at the Congress after its ex-MP from Mumbai South Milind Deora resigned from the party early on Sunday, the BJP said the Congress should first give justice to its leaders rather than launch a Nyay Yatra.
Jaiveer Shergil, who had switched to the BJP from the Congress, said the Congress ‘todo yatra’ has begun.
“The Congress should first give justice to its leaders rather than launch a Nyay Yatra,” BJP IT department head Amit Malviya said,
Shergill said, “First, Assam’s general secretary (Apurba Bhattacharjee) resigned (from the Congress), and now Milind Deora has too.
“Rahul Gandhi has to answer regarding the injustice he has done to the party and its leaders,” the BJP leader said.
The Congress downplayed the leader’s exit, with general secretary Jairam Ramesh saying that one Milind Deora goes away but “lakhs of Milinds who believe in our organisation and ideology stay”.