Rajasthan: Gehlot hits back at PM Modi's 'terrorist-sympathiser' remark; says PM misguided

Two senior Congress leaders switched to BJP ahead of the elections

PTI10_19_2023_000138B Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot

With days remaining for Assembly polls, Rajasthan is witnessing an increased political action with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for calling the Congress government in Rajasthan a "terrorist sympathiser". Gehlot said the Prime Minister's language during Thursday's rally was "objectionale in a democracy;

During an election rally, Modi recalled the murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur last year, calling it a big stain on the state government. "Such a heinous incident happened in Udaipur because there is a Congress government which sympathises with terrorists," Modi said.

Kanhaiya Lal was murdered by two cleaver-wielding men who accused him of insulting Islam. The accused had also made a video of the act and posted it online. "Terrorist organisations like Popular Front of India (PFI) hold rallies without fear in the state as the Congress government is a sympathiser of terrorists," Modi said.

To this, Gehlot told ANI: "Someone has misguided the PM or he has not been briefed properly. Or maybe he is nervous because of the atmosphere in Rajasthan."

Gehlot alleged that it was BJP workers who murdered Kanhaiya Lal. "We had caught the accused (in Kanhaiya Lal's murder) within 2 hours. The  NIA, still, took up the case and we never raised any objection. Now, it is up to the NIA to come forward and give details of the case," Gehlot said.

He added that his request to the Prime Minister was to not use such language. "We are fighting the election on ideology and he should let it remain like that," Gehlot added.

Meanwhile, the Congress faced a setback in the state with two senior party leaders switching base to the BJP. Gehlot's close aide and former Jodhpur mayor Rameshwar Dadhich, who had filed his nomination for the upcoming state Assembly polls from the Soorsagar constituency as an independent candidate, withdrawing his papers and joining the BJP on Thursday. Former Dausa district president of the Congress Vinod Sharma too joined the BJP on Thursday. 

"I have joined the BJP due to the decision-making capacity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I have been impressed with his work for long. If Modi was not the prime minister, the construction of the Ram temple (in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh) could not have happened," Dadhich said after joining the saffron party.

He joined the BJP in the presence of Union minister and the party's Rajasthan election in-charge Pralhad Joshi, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and MP Rajendra Gehlot.

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