“The man who ran in Kerala …”: BJP leaders attack Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi / Thiruvananthapuram:

Senior BJP leaders including party leader JP Nadda and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar criticized Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday evening, accusing the congressman of disrespecting North Indians and seeking to “divide and rule “, at an election rally in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. .

Mr Gandhi, who is in the southern state campaigning ahead of the assembly elections slated for a few weeks, said: “For the first 15 years, I was an MP from the north. So I got used to a different kind of politics. in Kerala was very refreshing as I suddenly discovered that people are interested in the issues … and not just superficially, but going into detail. “

“And recently I was telling the students that I really appreciate Kerala and Wayanad. It’s not just affection, but it’s the way you do your politics. There is intelligence with which you make your policy, “he added.

Mr Gandhi is currently the Member of Parliament for Lok Sabha of Wayanad.

He was previously a three-term MP for Amethi in Uttar Pradesh – a Gandhi family stronghold who was overthrown by Smriti Irani of the BJP in the 2019 elections. He challenged both Kerala and UP and only retained his status as a deputy after winning in the southern state.

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Mr Gandhi may have viewed his comments as a complement to the political sense of the people of the state, where the Congress-led UDF is the main opposition and has fiercely targeted the ruling left alliance on many multiple issues, including corruption and unemployment.

However, the BJP was quick to respond to his remarks, with some criticizing Gandhi for trying to “divide” the country and others for slaughtering the North Indians after their election.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, whose father – K Subrahmanyam, a former civil servant – was from Tamil Nadu, spoke of his pan-Indian upbringing and said “India is one … never divide us” .

“I am from the south. I am an MP from a western state. I was born, educated and worked in the north. I represented all of India before the world. is one. Never denigrate an area, never divide us, “he tweeted.

BJP chief JP Nadda offered a scathing response, tweeting: “A few days ago he was in the northeast, spitting venom against the western part of India. Today, in the south, it spits venom against the north. Divide to rule politics will not do it. work … People rejected this policy. See what happened in Gujarat today! “

Mr Nadda was referring to the local elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, in which the BJP is on the verge of claiming a landslide victory; the ruling party won more than 400 of the 474 seats contested as the count progressed until Tuesday evening.

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Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also tweeted, mocking Mr Gandhi for claiming to congratulate himself on politics based on problems after failing to understand the “heartbeat of your family (Amethi) borough) “.

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“So, Rahulji think northerners are not interested in issue-based politics? They weren’t interested in your empty promises, Rahulji. You couldn’t understand the pulse of the people in your family’s pocket neighborhood even after representing it for 15 years, ”he tweeted.

“As Amethi was inundated with saffron when the people performed your bluff, a day will come soon enough when even the people of Kerala will scare you away,” he added.

Union ministers Kiren Rijiju and Gajendra Singh Shekawat also beat Mr. Gandhi.

Mr. Shekawat appeared to delve into Mr. Gandhi’s Italian roots, tweeting: “North, South, East (or) West, no matter where you go Rahul Gandhi, you will always find the shallow Indians. Because, to understand us, you must be Indian first! “

Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted: “Look at his gall. The man who ran to Kerala to save his seat of Lok Sabha questions the intelligence of North Indians, including those who faithfully voted for his family for generations! The fact is … forced to run due to non-performance and lack of development. “

Earlier today, Gandhi launched an all-out attack on the government of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

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Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala also launched an offensive against the left-wing government over a memorandum of understanding signed with an American company, alleging it would allow foreign vessels to fish on the high seas. in Kerala waters, depriving local fishermen of income.

Mr Vijayan firmly denied this, saying state policy does not allow foreign vessels to fish on the high seas in its waters. However, a government order was subsequently issued calling for the cancellation of the memorandum of understanding regarding the construction of deep-sea trawlers.

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