We persuaded Rahul to go to Raebareli as his family represented it: Kharge

Kharge's comment follows PM Modi's swipe at Rahul Gandhi, saying he was contesting from Raebareli because he would lose in Wayanad

Rahul Gandhi files his nomination for the Lok Sabha election in Rae Bareli (photo: PTI)
Rahul Gandhi files his nomination for the Lok Sabha election in Rae Bareli (photo: PTI)


Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said Rahul Gandhi was persuaded to contest Lok Sabha polls from Raebareli as several members of his family had represented the seat in the past.

Gandhi filed his papers from Raebareli barely an hour before nominations closed for the Lok Sabha seat on Friday. It has been held by his mother Sonia Gandhi for the past two decades. Gandhi is contesting from Kerala's Wayanad as well, from where he is sitting MP.

"Our leader Sonia Gandhi has been elected to the Rajya Sabha, so we requested Rahul Gandhi, since Raebareli has been an old constituency which served as the seat of Rajiv Gandhi, Firoz Gandhi and several of his family members," Kharge told reporters.

"He was at Shivamogga. So last night, we held a discussion and finally we filed the nomination. I also went there. There is no question of fear," the Congress president added.

Kharge's comments came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi, saying he decided to contest from Raebareli because he knew he would lose in Wayanad. Asked about Modi's statement over Gandhi's nomination from Raebareli, Kharge said such a statement does not suit a prime minister.

"By making such cheap statements, he reduces the dignity of a prime minister. Even Indira Gandhi contested from another seat like Chikmagalur and Medak... Ask him (Modi) why he went there (Varanasi) after leaving Gandhinagar," Kharge added.

On Modi's accusation that people of Pakistan want to make Rahul Gandhi the prime minister, Kharge said that does not happen. "It is our country, where our people will cast their vote. We did not fly to Pakistan for a hug without an invitation. He (Modi) does such a thing and accuses the Congress of taking help from Pakistan. Congress has given leaders who have sacrificed their lives for the unity of the country," he said.

Despite this, Modi asks what the Congress has done for the country, Kharge said. "I gave them (BJP) an account of what the Congress did but he refuses to take it," Kharge added.

On the Congress claiming that the BJP would change the Constitution after coming to power, Kharge said such claims were being made from open platforms by BJP and RSS leaders.

"We are not the ones who are saying we will change the Constitution. Their member of Parliament Anant Kumar Hegde said give us two-third majority and we will change the Constitution. Mohan Bhagwat also said the same, even after the 2019 election. Should we trust these leaders?" Kharge asked.

The BJP has destroyed autonomous bodies formed under the Constitution, adding that the Congress was fighting to save democracy and the Constitution. He also expressed surprise over Modi's interpretation of the Congress manifesto as having an imprint of the Muslim League.

"How can a Congress manifesto be a Muslim League manifesto? Our manifesto talks about five nyay (justice)," he said.

Addressing a public meeting in Ahmedabad later, Kharge said Modi was the chieftain of liars since he had not fulfilled promises like giving Rs 15 lakh in the accounts of the people, and doubling farmers' income.

"We are only saying what you yourself promised, we did not add a word. He talked about bringing a bullet train in two years. Have you taken a ride on the bullet train coming up at a cost of Rs 1 lakh crore? It is meant for the rich and not the poor because of the high fares," Kharge claimed.

He also said the BJP government got MPs from the Opposition thrown out when they talked about issues of the poor, like inflation and unemployment. "The BJP tries to suppress our voice. Remember, we will not bow even if we have to sacrifice our lives. We are fighting for values which are for the good of the country," he asserted.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines