ANI Photo | “Don’t fight on basis of religion, fight on issues: Smriti Irani attack on Rahul Gandhi

Coming down heavily on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani said on Tuesday that if the former considers himself secular, then he should not fight in the name of religion, but based on issues.
During a session on the News18 Rising Bharat Summit, the Union Minister said the destination of a nation cannot be decided by a man who is scared of defeat in Amethi.
Amethi in Uttar Pradesh was long considered a bastion of the Gandhi family until Rahul Gandhi lost the seat to Irani in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“It is not the first time that he has given any statement against my religion, Hinduism, but I believe that if he is secular, then he should not fight in the name of religion, but fight on the basis of issues,” she said.
Irani said that while victory and defeat are inherent to electoral politics, true leadership is demonstrated by standing firm on one’s beliefs and principles.
The BJP leader criticised the alleged glorification of poverty and martyrdom by Rahul Gandhi, recounted her challenging journey in Amethi, and initially talked about a lack of support.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi triggered a row by raising concerns about the operation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), to emphasise the opposition’s struggle against the might of the state.
After Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Shakti’ remark stirred controversy, the BJP leaders criticised him for his statement, whereas the Congress rallied behind the Wayanad MP and came in support of him.
Rahul Gandhi, in his comments made on Sunday in Maharashtra, said, “There is a word ‘Shakti’ (might) in Hinduism. We are fighting against a Shakti (might of the state). The question is, what is that Shakti and what does it entail for us? The soul and integrity of EVMs have been traded to the King (Modi). This is a fact. Not just EVMs but every autonomous institution of the country, be it the ED, CBI or Income Tax department, have traded their spines to the Centre.”
Meanwhile, clarifying his remark, Rahul Gandhi said that he was speaking about the power whose mask is none other than the Prime Minister.
“Modi ji does not like my words, he always tries to change their meaning by twisting them in some way or another because he knows that I have spoken a deep truth. The power that I mentioned, the power that we are fighting, it’s mask is none other than Modi ji,” the Congress leader posted on X.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit back at Rahul Gandhi over his ‘Shakti’ remark and said that he is willing to sacrifice his life for ‘Shakti’.
“The INDI alliance in their manifesto said that their fight is against ‘Shakti’. For me, every mother, daughter and sister is a form of ‘Shakti’. I worship them in the form of ‘Shakti’. I am the worshiper of Bharat Mata…Their manifesto is to finish ‘Shakti’, and I accept the challenge…’Main jaan ki baazi laga dunga’,” PM Modi said.The elections for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held from April 19 to June 1, with the counting of votes scheduled for June 4

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