Rahul Gandhi Asserts Modi and BJP Do Not Represent Entire Hindu Community

The Lok Sabha was engulfed in a heated exchange on Monday as Rahul Gandhi, in his maiden speech as Leader of the Opposition, launched a scathing attack on the government during the motion of thanks on the President’s address. Gandhi’s nearly two-hour speech touched on several contentious issues, prompting vigorous rebuttals from the Treasury benches and numerous interjections by Union Cabinet ministers.

The Congress leader raised a spectrum of issues including the Agniveer recruitment scheme, inflation, the NEET paper leak, violence in Manipur, and grievances of farmers, which kept the ruling party on the defensive throughout. Accusing the BJP of perpetuating “politics of hatred” in the name of Hindutva, Gandhi displayed photographs of symbols and deities from various religions to underscore his point that no religion advocates violence.

His remarks drew sharp reactions from BJP MPs, leading to an uproar in the House. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah intervened multiple times, demanding Gandhi apologize for his statements targeting Hinduism and its followers. Modi emphasized that labeling the entire Hindu society as violent was a grave accusation.

Undeterred by the objections, Gandhi continued his critique, asserting, “You are not true Hindus. The BJP doesn’t represent Hindus. Narendra Modi is not the entire Hindu samaj, RSS is not the entire Hindu samaj. You are not the custodians of Hinduism.” His comments were met with applause from the Opposition benches.

The exchange escalated further as Shah referenced historical events such as the Emergency and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, accusing the Congress of hypocrisy on the issue of non-violence. In response, the Opposition cited incidents like the Godhra and Manipur violence, highlighting the contentious nature of the debate.

In a poignant moment, Gandhi displayed photographs of prominent religious figures to emphasize the principles of love and tolerance propagated by all religions. Despite objections from Speaker Om Birla, Gandhi persisted in displaying the images, sparking a brief clash over parliamentary decorum.

Gandhi also took jabs at Modi, mocking his claims in media interviews and criticizing the Speaker for allegedly favoring the Prime Minister during proceedings. The verbal sparring between Gandhi and Birla underscored the tense atmosphere in the House, with accusations and counter-accusations flying from both sides.

In his concluding remarks, Gandhi expressed pride in defending constitutional values against what he described as a sustained assault by the ruling dispensation over the past decade. He noted the challenges he personally faced, including legal cases and interrogation, attributing them to his resistance against the concentration of power and wealth.

The session concluded amidst heightened emotions and deep divisions, with both the government and the Opposition standing firm on their respective positions. The aftermath of Gandhi’s speech is expected to reverberate in the political corridors, setting the tone for future parliamentary debates and confrontations.


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