REPLYING TO state BJP leaders like Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Minister Pankaja Munde’s remarks about tying Opposition leaders to “rockets fired in Balakot”, state Congress chief Ashok Chavan on Tuesday said this shows the “low level of campaigning”. “I think ministers must understand the sentiments of the people. What kind of language is this? This is low level of campaigning,” Chavan said at a rally in Mumbai.
At a rally in Virar on Monday, Fadnavis had said that if Opposition leaders are asking for proof of the IAF attacks in Balakot, “we would have strapped their leaders to the rockets” so that they could “see it with their own eyes”. Last week, Rural Development Minister Munde made similar remarks, saying that “a bomb should be tied to (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi and then dropped in another country”.
“They talk about patriotism and nationalism. How can we tolerate such statements?” Chavan said. He tore into BJP’s “act of nationalism and patriotism”, claiming that the party’s decision to offer Pragya Thakur a ticket from Bhopal proves how hollow its patriotism is. “We lost Hemant Karkare in the fight against terrorism. He fought bravely during 26/11 attacks. And (Thakur) speaks against him like this. She says she cursed him. What kind of nationalism, what kind of patriotism is BJP showing by giving her a ticket?” Chavan asked.
Chavan on Tuesday campaigned in Bandra, Chembur and Jogeshwari for party candidates. Claiming that an undercurrent against the BJP is evident, he said: “People are fed up with false promises of achhe din. We see people’s love for Rahul Gandhi.”
“Whatever promises BJP made have not been fulfilled — be it farmer crisis, employment, rural distress or infrastructure. BJP ne gumrah kiya hai (misled people),” he added as he canvassed through Shankarwadi slums in Jogeshwari East.
Maintaining that Congress did not suspect the Balakot strikes but demanded proof of the damage caused by the strike, Chavan said that BJP was not vigilant when RDX entered the country prior to the Pulwama attack in February, when 40 CRPF personnel were killed.