Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said he will reply with love to any hatred spread about him and his family by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
At the same time, he claimed that under the pressure of the Congress’ campaign, “Modiji is doing ‘kabaddi-kabaddi’, which he won’t be able to continue for long.”
“Modi may spread hatred against me and late Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi but I will repay with love,” he said at his first election meeting in this town that is part of the Hamirpur parliamentary constituency.
In his 25-minute address, the Congress President said: “When I asked Modi about Rafale in Parliament, he could not give me a reply. He could not look at India in its eyes. Today India wants to know whose ‘chowkidari’ did the PM do.
“The truth and the voice of the people have trapped Modi. Now he cannot even give speeches. He cannot even talk about unemployment, farmers, youth, women, because he hasn’t done anything.”
Gandhi also flayed the Modi government over demonetisation and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Terming the GST as “Gabbar Singh Tax”, Gandhi said it destroyed the businesses of many traders.
“Under the pressure of Congress, Modiji is doing kabaddi-kabaddi, which he won’t be able to continue for long. In the game of kabaddi, the player is out of the game when he takes a breath,” said Gandhi. “Modiji is about to face defeat.”
He said when he talked to the Congress candidate from this seat, he came to know that he was an international kabaddi player and had taken part in international tournaments.
The Congress pitted ex-wrestler and five-time legislator Ram Lal Thakur against BJP’s Anurag Thakur from Hamirpur, the seat the Congress has won only once in 30 years.
Ram Lal Thakur has represented the state in kabaddi team six times at the national level and remained its captain thrice.
However, three-time MP Anurag Thakur, 44, who believes the people will vote for the BJP for ensuring stability and sustainable economic growth of the country, is the BJP’s most flamboyant MP.
Since his maiden victory in a by-election in May 2008, Anurag Thakur, who was re-elected as Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association President in 2016 for the fourth time in succession since 2000, has been targeted by his rivals for being high-profile and jet-setting.
Voting for Himachal Pradesh’s four seats — Shimla (reserved), Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra — will take place on May 19.