THE COMPETING nationalism narrative, that has emerged between the Congress and the BJP following the JNU row, was at the heart of a poster war in Amritsar on Thursday. While the BJP put up a poster of the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafeez Saeed and Rahul Gandhi, accusing the Congress vice-president of speaking the language of Pakistan, the Congress responded with a parallel poster of Prime Minister Narendra Modi featured with Afzal Guru, Hafiz Saeed and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti, questioning the PM’s ‘patriotic’ credentials.
Later in the day, both parties carried out a protest march against each other’s stand on the slogan shouting at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi. “Rahul Gandhi has been exposed. We have been protesting his anti-national support to Afzal Guru and the latter’s supporters in JNU. We will make people aware of how it is hurting national interest,” said BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh, who led his party’s march.
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The Congress responded by accusing the BJP and RSS for allegedly promoting anti-national elements by forming the government in Jammu and Kashmir with PDP help.
“The BJP started it. They installed a poster of Rahul Gandhi with Hafiz Saeed. We were forced to expose them. We have explained how Modi is seeking the support of PDP in J&K, a party which perceives Afzal Guru as a martyr. Supporting Afzal Guru is like doing a sentry job for Saeed. This is what PM is doing and we have exhibited same in poster,” state Congress secretary Dinesh Bassi, who led his party’s march, said.