Cong. denies Urdu daily’s report on Rahul

The Congress on Friday rejected the BJP’s allegation that party president Rahul Gandhi had said the party was a Muslim party. The party belongs to 132 crore Indians, the Congress said.

The party also charged the BJP with “once again trying to polarise the electorate before the 2019 Lok Sabha election”, and said “it is the only thing Prime Minister Narendra Modi falls upon before every election.”

The Congress’s communications chief, Randeep Surjewala, said rumours took over when governance failed.

“When the government is on the path of lying, then rumours become the main policy of the government,” he told presspersons.

‘Stands for pluralism’

Citing the party’s credentials during the freedom movement, Mr Surjewala said the Congress “stands for Indian pluralism, social inclusiveness and the rainbow of varied interests”.

An Urdu daily had reported that Mr. Gandhi, who met Muslim intellectuals on Wednesday, had told them that the Congress was a party of Muslims. Responding to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s demand that Mr. Gandhi should explain the report, the Congress charged the BJP with trying “to create divisions among people”.

“Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman is yet to answer on the Rafale deal but is using a false and baseless report to target the Congress president … If she is blaming the Congress, then I charge that through her press conference, she is trying to create tensions among communities,” said Sushmita Dev, a Lok Sabha member of the Congress.

The Congress alleged that the BJP has raised the issue of Mr. Gandhi’s meeting with eminent Muslim intellectuals only to divert attention from the monsoon session of Parliament.

“It is clear that they don’t want to answer some tough questions in the session. We would like answers from her on the Rafale deal. We would like to know why is the PM silent on farmer suicides, unemployment? They better get ready to face Parliament,” Ms. Dev said.

When the government is on the path of lying, then rumours become the main policy

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