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Lok Sabha Election 2024: BJP taunts Rahul Gandhi over Raebareli move

The messaging was prominently sent out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself on Friday when he used Gandhi’s own poll punch line of 'Daro Mat' (don’t be scared) at a rally in West Bengal.
Last Updated : 03 May 2024, 16:46 IST
Last Updated : 03 May 2024, 16:46 IST

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New Delhi: Sensing an opportunity in Rahul Gandhi leaving the Amethi seat to contest from Raebareli, the BJP intends to use the former Congress president’s switch to say that he has run away from a fight.

The messaging was prominently sent out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself on Friday when he used Gandhi’s own poll punch line of 'Daro Mat' (don’t be scared) at a rally in West Bengal saying “Daro Mat, Bhago Mat” (don’t be scared, don’t run away).

Party leaders in the BJP said that apart from driving the point home in the seats in North India, it will also weaponise the issue in South India, a region where the BJP has been focusing its energies this poll season.

At a poll rally in Bengal, PM Modi said that Rahul Gandhi has run away from Amethi.

“I had said that shehzade (Rahul Gandhi) is afraid of losing in Wayanad, and the moment voting ends, he will start looking for a third seat. Now even from Amethi, he panicked and ran, and is now looking towards Rae Bareli. Today I also want to tell him, Daro Mat (don't be afraid), Bhaago Mat (don't run),” Modi said.

While the Congress leaders have said that they have denied BJP leader Smriti Irani the opportunity of a fight against Gandhi, BJP leaders assert that the decision coming at the last moment showed that the Congress was undecided. “If they had planned it all along, why did they need to take this long to announce. The announcement came barely 5 hours before the nominations were filed,” a senior spokesperson of the party said.

The leader said that the preparations within the Congress camp, too, had come as an afterthought. “By this time Smriti Irani has carried out dozens of rallies,” the leader said, adding that a rally by the PM or HM in the seat cannot be ruled out.

The party also plans to use this in rallies in the 44 seats in South India where elections are yet to be held. A key strategist of the party said that the BJP will raise the question whether Rahul Gandhi will leave the Wayanad seat or the Raebareli seat. “The litmus test for the Congress will be whether he will stick to North India or South India,” the leader said.

Within Raebareli, the BJP will now highlight the issue of Rahul Gandhi being a “guest”, and seek votes for the BJP candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh.

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Published 03 May 2024, 16:46 IST

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