New Delhi: After a respectable show in the Gujarat assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday claimed a “moral victory” and said the Congress had given a massive jolt to the BJP.
The Congress president, speaking for the first time after the loss, said this was a good show by the party and the BJP's margin for victory being the lowest in over three decades showed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's credibility is being questioned on his own home turf.
“BJP’s propaganda has failed. Modi is very good in marketing but Gujaratis don't trust his ‘vikas’ model. The PM talks of vikas but can’t answer questions and has been exposed,” he told reporters outside the Parliament.
Rahul pointed out that PM Modi had not talked about corruption or development during his election rallies, but talked of it only after the victory was secured. “He did not respond to a single charge against his people,” he said.
He also invoked Mahatma Gandhi’s name and said Gujaratis had taught both Modi and him a lesson – that anger, abuse and lies will always be defeated by love.
“In three months Gujaratis gave me a lot of love. They taught me to respond to lies, threats, abuse, money and muscle power with love and brotherhood. Gujaratis have taught Modi that his anger will be defeated with love. This was also the message of Gandhiji,” he said.
His statement on love was in continuation with the “nice guy” image he has tried to cultivate to counter Modi’s strong persona. On Monday, too, he had thanked Congress workers for a “dignified” fight in Gujarat elections in a tweet.
“My Congress brothers and sisters, you have made me very proud. You are different than those you fought because you fought anger with dignity. You have demonstrated to everyone that the Congress’s greatest strength is its decency and courage,” Rahul wrote.
The BJP was quick to respond to the attack on Modi. Union minister Ananth Kumar said the PM’s credibility was “highest in the world” and Rahul’s credibility was under a cloud after yet another poll defeat.
“The Congress will be defeated throughout the country. They lost Himachal and we hit a sixer in Gujarat under Modi ji. The Congress is not scoring anywhere. It shows who has credibility,” he said.
On the allegation of PM Modi using lies and abuse in his poll campaign, Hegde told Rahul to “read history and see what grandmother Indira did if he wants to know about ruthless politics”.
He did not answer when asked about the corruption allegations over the Rafale jet deal and on Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah.
Minister of state Jitendra Singh told CNN-News that Rahul should learn to accept the defeat with grace if he has learned so much from Gujaratis in three months. On the corruption allegations, he said even now, new details of graft under the previous UPA government are still coming out.