New Delhi: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday led his party on a nationwide fast targeting the Modi government but a picture of party leaders having ‘chole-bhature’ before the protest gave the BJP fodder to launch a counter-attack and dub the exercise a “farce” and “joke on Dalits”.
BJP leader Harish Khurana also tweeted a picture, showing Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken, A.S. Lovely and others having snacks at a restaurant.
Countering the charge, Lovely said the leaders had breakfast well before the protest began and added there was nothing wrong in it.
Rahul, whose party had announced the fast over a variety of issues including alleged caste and communal violence, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being “anti-Dalit”.
In another apparent embarrassment, the Congress had to ask anti-Sikh riots accused Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler to stay away from dais at Rajghat, where the fast was held in the national capital, which BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra described as “admission of guilt” by the opposition party.
While Kumar left the venue soon after, Tytler sat in the audience along with party workers. Speaking at the Mahatma Gandhi's memorial, Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on the government.
“We are standing here against the BJP's oppressive ideology. We are standing here today and will stand against it all our life and we will defeat them in the 2019 elections,” Rahul said.
The BJP spokesperson said Modi believed in politics of performance and has brought Dalits into economical and social mainstream with schemes like Jan Dhan and Mudra, while alleging that the Congress and Rahul Gandhi have ridiculed Mahatma Gandhi's principles of ‘satyagrah’’.