Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday cleared the air over his alleged “party for Muslims” remark and said that he would stand for all the “exploited, marginalised and persecuted” regardless of their “religion, caste and beliefs”.
“I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me. I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear. I love all living beings. I am the Congress,” the Congress president said.
I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me.
I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear.
I love all living beings.
I am the Congress.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 17, 2018
The clarification from the Gandhi scion came after his alleged remarks that the Congress was a “party for Muslims” during his meeting with Muslim intellectuals on Wednesday.
The BJP took the report as a golden opportunity to attack the Congress president. Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanded clarification from Gandhi, accusing his party of creating a “partisan-like situation” in the country.
"This needs to be clarified, probably he wants to say that to call himself a Janeu-dhari (a Hindu who wears the sacred thread) was wrong, probably he wants to say now that he is a Muslim-dhari," the defence minister said in a press conference.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while delivering a speech in Azamgarh over the weekend, also raised the issue, saying, "I read in the newspaper that the Congress president had said that Congress is a party of Muslims, and there has been a discussion on this for the past two days."
The Congress, however, dismissed the Urdu daily report and termed it a "rumour". Congress president Randeep Surjewala said that when governance fails, rumours take precedence and asserted that his party was for the welfare of 132 crore Indians.
"When the government is on the path of lying, then rumours become the main policy of the government," he said.