‘My mother more Indian than many,’ says Rahul Gandhi on PM Modi’s jibe

Bengaluru: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has anger inside him.

Addressing the media in Bengaluru, on the the last day of campaigning for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly election, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "PM Modi has got anger inside of him. He is angry with everybody, not only me. I am a lightning rod for anger, I attract anger. But that is his problem. It is not my problem."

When asked on the perceived "personal attacks" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his election rallies, including a barb asking him to "speak in his mother's mother-tongue", Rahul said that while his mother indeed is Italian, she has lived a larger part of her life in India.

"She is more Indian than many, many Indians. She has sacrificed for this country, she has suffered for this country," the Congress chief said, adding, "It shows the quality of the PM when he makes these comments. If he likes it, then let him."

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for distracting the people of Karnataka, Rahul Gandhi said, "PM Modi likes to distract people. He has nothing to say to the people of Karnataka on their future. So he just distracts them."

Speaking on digs like "naamdaar (entitled)" used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to target him during the campaign in Karnataka, Rahul Gandhi referenced a story of the Buddha, who refused to react to an angry man's tirade and told his disciple: "He got me the gift of anger, I didn't want it."

The Congress chief also accused the BJP for "copy, pasting" half of Congress' manifesto in Karnataka. "There is a lack of seriousness. The BJP drafted their manifesto in a closed room and copy pasted half of ours. We are confident of winning the Karnataka elections," he added.

Rahul Gandhi also spoke about the Prime Minister's Dalit outreach. He said, "Narendra Modi doesn't say anything when Dalits are being killed across the country. Congress is raising Dalit issues, that's our job. When Rohith Vemula is killed, PM didn't say a word. Karnataka government gives half the money the centre gives for Dalits."

The Congress chief further went on to add that the BJP is in "panic mode". He said, "They (BJP) has realised that the Congress is doing things differently. They have seen it in Gujarat."

Rahul Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi likes to discuss bullet train but does not like to discuss fundamental issues. "Atrocities against women is absolutely a political and a national issue. PM Modi likes to discuss bullet train and other issues but does not like to discuss fundamental issues," he said.

Karnataka will go to polls on May 12. Counting of votes and results will be declared on May 15.

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