New Delhi: Accusing the Congress of turning itself into an organisation with an anti-India mindset, the BJP on Monday sought an apology from its President Rahul Gandhi and sacking of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for his analogy between visiting Pakistan and south India. BJP Spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told the media that the Congress has been following a double-pronged strategy — hoping to make an entry in Pakistan’ politics by showing its “love and affection” for it and by following a “break India campaign”.
“Break the country is the new slogan of Rahul Gandhi. He is following a strategy creating division and disaffection between different regions of the country. The Congress is no longer a political party but has become an organisation with anti-India mindset,” Rao said citing recent incidents of migration of north Indians from Gujarat and Congress’ stand during action against urban naxals. “This was done with a political narrative and the genesis of all this goes back to the manner in which Cambridge Analytica, a company which was retained by Congress, creates social and communal conflicts and caste divide,” he said.
The BJP’s attack on the Congress comes in the wake of Sidhu’s recent remarks at the Khushwant Singh Literature Festival in Kasauli, where he drew an analogy between visiting Pakistan and south India. Implying that Pakistan’s culture was more similar and familiar to Punjab than south India, he had said: “I can’t understand the language, it’s just one or two words. Not that I don’t like the food, but I cannot have it for a long time, the culture is totally different. When I go to Pakistan, the language is the same, like you know, when you abuse in English 10 times, one abuse in Punjabi overpowers all.”
Hitting out at Sidhu, Rao said that his analogy was an attempt to poison the minds of people to divide different parts of India and to create a negative and adverse image of south India. “You should apologize and you have to sack Sidhu from Punjab cabinet. Nothing short of sacking will satisfy people from South. We will certainly raise this issue. We will hold protests against Sidhu and Rahul Gandhi. We will take to streets. Rahul Gandhi must apologize and sack Sidhu within this week. Otherwise be ready to face political consequences when you visit south,” Rao said.
He said Sidhu had no business to insult people of south India. “You may love your leader, you may love your pasta and pizza or you may love Karachi kulche we have no problem but you have no business to say that I like Pakistan more than South India. The BJP leader also accused the Congress of insulting former Prime Minister late P. V. Narasimha Rao, saying Sonia Gandhi’s hatred against South India did not allow Rao’s body to be taken to Congress headquarters in Delhi and his body was forcibly taken to Hyderabad despite the wishes of his family members, who wanted his cremation in Delhi. “Rao (P.V.Narasimha), who was the real father of economic reforms, was not even cremated properly. Rahul Gandhi should apologize for ill treating a great statesman like Rao,” he said. He took a dig at the Congress for not giving due credit to Rao in the Congress’s campaign and functions in South India specially in Telangana and said if the Congress does not do so the BJP will tell people to throw the party into the Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad.