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‘I Know Terrorism Better Than PM, Lost My Grandmother & Father’: Rahul Gandhi Slams Modi at Ballari Rally

PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi. (File photo, Reuters)

Congress said Prime Minister Modi had accused the Opposition party of shielding ‘terrorism for vote bank’ at an election rally in Ballari on Friday

Karnataka Elections 2023

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the latter’s remark in which he accused the party of shielding “terrorists for vote bank” politics at an election rally in Karnataka.

“I have lost my grandmother and father to terrorism, so I know more about its effects than PM Modi,” Gandhi said, referring to the assassination of former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

Addressing a rally in Ballari on Friday, Prime Minister Modi had accused the Congress of “shielded terrorism for vote bank”, a charge denounced by the Opposition party.

According to Congress, the Prime Minister said they are “taking part in backdoor political negotiations with those who are linked to this trend of terrorism.” He also stated that Congress is aligned with a “trend of terrorism that destroys societies.”

The Congress filed a complaint at Bengaluru’s High Grounds police station against the Prime Minister on Saturday over the remarks and sought action under relevant sections of the Representation of People Act 1951, the Indian Penal Code and other provisions of law, according to a The Indian Express article.

“While he couldn’t say anything about the 40% commission of the BJP Govt, he speaks of terrorism here,” Gandhi said at the rally.

The former Congress chief was referring to the controversy over the ‘40% commission’ that surfaced in April 2022, following the death of Santosh Patil, a contractor based in Belagavi.

Last month, Gandhi had criticised the state government led by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, labelling it as a ‘40% government’ and accusing it of being deeply corrupt. In response, Chief Minister Bommai hit back at the Wayanad MP, claiming that he had sent a chargesheet to Gandhi concerning the Congress’ alleged scams, but is yet to receive a response. “The 40% commission chargesheet is on him,” Bommai stated.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also visited Belagavi on Saturday. The senior BJP leader is aiming to secure the maximum number of seats in the district, which is the second-largest in Karnataka after Bengaluru Urban.

With the state going to the polls on May 10, Shah addressed a large gathering in Saundatti town in Belagavi district. He reminded the people that in the 2018 elections, the BJP won 11 seats, but if they had won all 18 seats, there would not have been a JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state.

The BJP increased its tally in the district to 13 after Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumatalli were elected in the by-polls. Shah appealed to the crowd to give all 18 seats to the BJP.

In his speech, Shah accused Congress of imprisoning Veer Savarkar at Hindalga prison in Belagavi district and said Rahul Gandhi would not see a greater sacrifice than that of Veer Savarkar, even if he were to be reborn 10 times.

“The Congress had imprisoned our great freedom fighter Veer Savarkar at Hindalga prison in Belagavi district. He was the only freedom fighter who was awarded life imprisonment punishment twice. The Congress repeatedly insults Savarkar. Rahul Gandhi, you will not see a greater sacrifice than that of Veer Savarkar even if you take birth 10 times,” the Home Minister said.

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