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Day after PM’s Rajiv Gandhi Challenge to Cong, Hardik Patel Dares Modi to Seek Votes on 2 Cr Jobs

Stating that it was sad Gandhi, who had revolutionised the country’s communication system, was being shown in poor light by the current PM, Patel said when a man had nothing to talk about his tenure, he resorted to propaganda and bad-mouthing others.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:May 7, 2019, 8:17 PM IST
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Day after PM’s Rajiv Gandhi Challenge to Cong, Hardik Patel Dares Modi to Seek Votes on 2 Cr Jobs
File photo of Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel.

Bhopal: Congress leader Hardik Patel on Tuesday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contest the undergoing election on the promised two crore jobs.

Creating employment for the country’s youth was one of the key promises on which the BJP had come to power in 2014.

Patel was responding to Modi’s challenge to the Congress to seek votes in the name of late PM Rajiv Gandhi, whom he had also referred to as “number one corrupt”, in Delhi, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.

Hitting out at Modi for bringing up the late Prime Minister in his election campaign, Patel said, “It is not in our tradition to speak ill of the dead.”

The Patidar leader, who joined the Congress in March this year, said he initially thought Modi had mistakenly used adverse words for Gandhi, but the PM kept repeating it in subsequent public addresses.

Stating that it was sad Gandhi, who had revolutionised the country’s communication system, was being shown in poor light by the current PM, Patel said when a man had nothing to talk about his tenure, he resorted to propaganda and bad-mouthing others.

When asked about his tweet in which he called Gandhi an innocent man who was cheated by friends, Patel said he stood by his statement, but declined to name those who had ditched the late Prime Minister.

Patel also alleged that the water being shared by Madhya Pradesh with Gujarat was being given away to industries instead of farmers, which was evidence enough how the Prime Minister was cheating the country’s ryots.

The Congress leader has been barred from contesting the general election after the Gujarat High Court refused to stay a sentence awarded to him in a rioting case.

Taking potshot at the BJP’s Bhopal candidate and Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur, Patel said, “Many people asked me why I did not contest the poll. My reply is that had I been in the BJP, I could have also been in fray like a candidate in Bhopal.”

“We have ample evidence from recent happenings to back the claim that if you are anti-establishment, then you are anti-national, and if you are a traitor and with the BJP, you are still a nationalist.”

When asked about Thakur’s references on custodial torture, he said he too wasn’t offered any special treatment over the last few months.

“I was slapped with two sedition cases, kept in jail for nine months and had to stay out of Gujarat for six months only and only for my fight for social causes,” he added.

Regarding the Congress’ election manifesto that promised to do away with the British-era sedition law, Patel sought to clarify the difference between ‘rajdroh’ (sedition) and ‘deshdroh’ (treason).

He said when farmers led an agitation, the government slapped them with sedition, which would be ended by the Congress, while those who worked against the nation would be strongly dealt with.

Claiming that the Congress had no ‘set-up’ with electronic voting machines, Patel said, “We don’t claim to win all 26 seats of Gujarat, but would be victorious in 13 to 14 constituencies.”

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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