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Rahul Gandhi's 'not Hindus' dig at BJP draws protests; Modi says calling Hindus violent serious matter

While Modi and Shah accused Rahul of calling the entire Hindu society violent, the latter replied saying that 'BJP, Modi are not entire Hindu society'.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 09:31 IST

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New Delhi: New Delhi: In a rare direct face-off with Rahul Gandhi on the floor of the House, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday intervened twice, objecting to the Congress leader's pointed attack on the ruling party and its ideological mentor, the RSS.

“Calling the entire Hindu society violent is a serious issue,” Modi interjected at Rahul's comments that those "who call themselves Hindus are engaged in violence and hate". In response, Rahul said, "A Hindu can never spread violence, a Hindu cannot spread hatred. BJP spreads hatred and violence, and you do not represent Hindus."

Continuing his tirade, Rahul further said the Prime Minister "does not smile or greet people in the House", inviting protests from treasury benches. Amidst the ensuing din, Modi stood up and said that "democracy and the Constitution has taught me to respect the post of the Leader of the Opposition".

Apart from the Prime Minister, Home Minister Amit Shah also responded sharply to Rahul Gandhi’s pointed attack on the BJP and the RSS where he accused the ruling party and its ideological mentor of engineering “a full-scale systematic attack on the idea of India and Constitution".

Shah demanded an apology from Rahul for "hurting the feelings" of crores of people who proudly identify themselves as Hindus.

In his two-hour speech, Rahul also spoke of the Army’s Agneepath scheme calling it a “use and throw labour".

The sharp criticism drew a reply from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who said the LoP was giving wrong information.

"He (Rahul Gandhi) should not try to mislead the House by making wrong statements. Financial assistance of Rs 1 crore is given to the family of the Agniveer who lays down his life in the line of duty,” Rajnath said.

In the ensuing exchange, Rahul said when "our government comes, we will scrap the Agneepath scheme because we think it is against the armed forces and patriots."

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiran Rijiju, Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav, Agriculture Minister Shivraj Chouhan, and Tourism Minister Gajendra Chouhan also intervened at various points during Gandhi's speech.

After the house was adjourned for the day, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and BJP MP Sudhanshu Trivedi held a press conference to rebut allegations made by Rahul Gandhi in his speech in the Lok Sabha. "With his speech, Gandhi has insulted the Hindu community, he has lowered the dignity of his position," Vaishnaw said.

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Published 01 July 2024, 09:31 IST

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