Thane:  Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Thursday accused the BJP-led opposition of spurring communal and ethnic violence as a tool to electoral victory.

At a public rally in Sonale village near Bhiwandi in Thane district, Rahul Gandhi reiterated the allegation against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), accusing the organisation of killing Mahatma Gandhi.

“The RSS shot and killed Mahatma Gandhi. Now they (BJP) are adopting their (RSS) principles and speaking about them. Sardar Patel was a Congress leader and he clearly wrote about the RSS. It opposed Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. Now, they are appropriating the Congress ideology and its leaders,” Rahul Gandhi said.

A day earlier, Gandhi had said in Aurangabad that “the Congress would send the Bharatiya Janata Party packing with love”.

Bhiwandi is a Muslim-dominated town, which was in the past hit by communal riots.

Gandhi said the Congress has always taken along all sections of society, the rich and poor, and people of all religions to ensure that the fruits of development reached everyone.

“When we speak of the MNREGA or RTI, is it only for one community or religion? We believe it should be for all. Wherever the opposition goes, they create a rift between Hindus and Muslims, between one region and another. We believe in taking everyone together to take the country forward,” Gandhi said.

He said the Congress was born in Maharashtra, and the party’s ideology was inspired by the Bhagwad Gita, “the one Shivaji, Ashoka and (Mahatma) Gandhi spoke about”.

“We listen to all – the poor, tribals, minorities and all factions – as they are in India and contributing to the country’s growth and progress.”

Taking a dig at the BJP’s attempts to project Narendra Modi as a one-man army capable of solving all problems, Gandhi said the Congress believes in the “power of the poor”.

“What has been done in the past 60 years, they (BJP) say they will do it in three months. Who was responsible for all this development? You – the farmers and the poor, the people of the state and country – not just the Congress. I can never say that only one person took India forward, that will be wrong,” he said.

With the public rally, the Congress leader wound up his two-day visit to Maharashtra. He visited Dhule, Aurangabad, Mumbai and Thane.

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