Making an emotional pitch to voters to support the Congress in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Monday said her party was fighting against those who were “divisive” and would lead to the “ruination of Bharatiyata and Hindustaniyat”.
In an indirect reference to the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Sonia in a televised address said, “It is this, the very heart and soul of India, that we are fighting to protect in this election, from those who seek to change it, and to divide us. We want unity. They want to impose uniformity. They say ‘just believe in me’. We say ‘believe in our intentions, in our achievements…a high rate of growth, inclusive development, strong democratic institutions.”
Drawing a distinction between the Congress ideology and that of the BJP, again without naming the party, she said her party stood for a “healthy democracy” while the latter was “clouded with hatred”.
“Today, our society stands at a crossroads. The Congress ideology and vision, will continue to take us towards a healthy, free democracy open to the light of change and transformation. Their vision, clouded with hatred and falsehood, their ideology, divisive and autocratic, will drive us to the ruination of our Bharatiyata, our Hindustaniyat,” she said.
She said what made her proud to be an Indian was the “core beliefs and values” the country was founded on and that have “united” the nation of “diverse” people.
“What are these values that are the very heart and soul of our motherland? They are love and respect, harmony and brotherhood. In a word, non-violence,” she said, adding that these were “the essence of our Bharatiyata, our Hindustaniyat”.
Urging voters to think from their “hearts” in this election, she said it was for them to decide what “direction, what path” they wanted the country to take.
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.