With the BJP accusing him of insulting OBCs with his “Modi surname” remark, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said he has been talking of brotherhood in all his speeches and the ruling party was just trying to divert attention from the Adani issue by making such allegations.
Gandhi was on Thursday sentenced to two years in jail by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his “why all thieves have Modi surname” remark.
Several BJP leaders, including party chief J P Nadda, have accused Gandhi of insulting Other Backward Classes (OBCs) through his remark in 2019.
Asked about the BJP’s allegation, Gandhi said at a press conference here, “Look at any of my speeches in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, I am saying that all communities are the same, everyone should move forward together, there should be brotherhood, there should be no hate, there should be no violence. So my position is absolutely clear.”
“This is not an issue of OBCs, this is an issue of the relationship between Narendra Modi and (businessman Gautam) Adani. I am asking how Adani shell firms got Rs 20,000 crore and want an answer to that,” he said.
“The BJP tries to divert attention, they will sometimes talk of OBCs, sometimes of (remarks) abroad, sometimes about disqualification or something else but the question remains — Rs 20,000 crore belong to whom?” he said.
Responding to media queries on the BJP’s charge of insult to OBCs, Gandhi described these questions as peddling of BJP’s agenda and asked if they were posed following orders from the ruling dispensation.
Attacking Gandhi over his remark on media queries, BJP’s IT department head Amit Malviya tweeted, “I am told the journalist Rahul Gandhi snubbed for asking a perfectly legitimate question has been covering the Congress for 15 years and is fairly aligned. Yet, he was shot down, the moment he stepped out of the line. What arrogance! But Rahul Gandhi is messiah of free’ press.”
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel hit out at the BJP over its charge of insulting OBCs, saying it wants to divert attention from the Adani issue.
“Does Akhilesh Yadav, Lalu Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, Bhupesh Baghel or Tamil Nadu chief minister not belong to the backward classes? Why is BJP creating trouble for all of us?” he said.
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