Congress denies Urdu daily report on Rahul Gandhi

Says the party belongs to 132 crore Indians and the BJP’s allegations are only a bid to divert attention

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

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

Congress’ communications chief Randeep Surjewala said rumours take over when governance fails.

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

‘Stands for pluralism’

Citing the party’s credentials during India’s 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, Congress Lok Sabha MP.

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,” asserted Ms. Dev.

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