A day after the BJP demanded an apology from Congress’s Rahul Gandhi for his “Rape in India” remark, the former party chief reiterated his refusal with a dig. At the Congress’ Bharat Bachao rally today, he said that “his name wasn’t Rahul Savarkar”.
“My name is not Rahul Savarkar, I am Rahul Gandhi. I will never apologise for speaking the truth and nor will any Congressman do so. It is Narendra Modi and his assistant Amit Shah who have to apologise to the nation for destroying India’s economy,” he said in his opening remarks at the party’s mega rally in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan.
BJP leader Sambit Patra, always ready with a counter-attack, retorted “even if Rahul Gandhi takes 100 births he can never be Rahul Savarkar”.
“If Rahul Gandhi wants a new name, then starting today the BJP will call him ‘Rahul thoda sharam kar‘. He is a shameless person who compares ‘Make in India’ to ‘Rape in India’. He has crossed all limits of shame and dignity,” Patra said.
Savarkar was “veer” and a patriot, the BJP leader said and censured Gandhi for speaking “Pakistan’s language”.
“The language Rahul Gandhi uses for Article 370, air strike, surgical strike, Citizenship Act is Pakistan’s language. He can’t be ‘Veer’ or be at par with Savarkar,” he added.
Rahul Gandhi’s comment, made during an election rally Jharkhand, created a furore in the Lok Sabha on Friday, with BJP leaders, led by Union minister Smriti Irani, demanding an apology.
The party formally complained to the Election Commission, seeking action against the Congress leader.
“Narendra Modi had said ‘Make in India’ but nowadays wherever you look, it is ‘Rape in India’,” he had said.
“I was told in Parliament yesterday by the BJP that I should apologise for what I said at a rally. I was asked to apologise for the truth that I spoke,” he said.
On Friday, the Congress leader clarified to reporters outside Parliament why he wasn’t going to do so.
“Let me clarify what I said. I said the PM keeps talking about ‘Make In India’. So when one opens the newspaper one hoped that one would see news about it, but what do we see when we open the papers? We see so many cases of rapes,” he said.
Union Minister Smriti Irani had in the parliament said, “For the first time in history, a leader is giving a call that Indian women should be raped. Is this Rahul Gandhi’s message to the people of the country? He should be punished.”