Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday stepped up his attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his decision to contest Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad seat in Kerala.
PM Modi, who was addressing a public rally in Karnataka’s Mysuru, said, “There is lot of anger against the Congress in the country due to its politics of family-first, of corruption. The anger is so much that the seat of Congress’s naamdar (referring to Rahul Gandhi) has come under threat.”
Gandhi has won three Lok Sabha elections from Amethi parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh. This is the first time, Gandhi has decided to contest from a second seat, Wayanad in Kerala for which he has filed nomination.
Filing his nomination papers, Gandhi had said that he wanted to send a “message of unity” by contesting for a Lok Sabha seat in south India, which he said was feeling ignored under the Modi government.
“They argue that he (Rahul Gandhi) wanted to contest from the south. He could have fought from a seat in Karnataka, where the Congress is in power. But he went to the neighbouring state,” said PM Modi at his Mysuru rally.
He said, “In fact, he was trying to find a safe seat in Karnataka but they (the Congress) knew the public mood here and were also not sure about the JDS (the Congress’s alliance partner in Karnataka).”
PM Modi alleged that the Congress feared “revenge” from Janata Dal-Secular leader and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. He said, “Madam Sonia Gandhi had backstabbed Deve Gowda and removed him from the prime minister’s post. They were worried what would happen if Deve Gowda decides to take revenge from her son.”
He was referring to 1997-incident when the Congress withdrew support to the Deve Gowda’s United Front government. However, Sitaram Kesri was the Congress president and Sonia Gandhi had not yet joined the party. Sonia Gandhi became Congress president in March 1998. Deve Gowda’s government fell in April 1997.
This is not the first time the prime minister has taken a potshot at Gandhi for contesting from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat. At another election rally, PM Modi said the Congress president chose to be in the fray where “majority is in minority” signalling to the demographic composition of the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat where Muslims constitute around 45 per cent of the population compared to nearly 41 per cent Hindus.