Modi’s Gandhi remark sparks outrage; Cong complains about PM’s meditation trip | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Modi’s Gandhi remark sparks outrage; Cong complains about PM’s meditation trip

May 30, 2024 10:47 AM IST

The campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha election is coming to an end on Thursday and the last or the seventh phase of polling is due on June 1

New Delhi: Beyond the staple campaign around roti-kapda-makaan that underlines the basic necessities for millions of Indians, warring political parties try to blend fresh ideas and solutions to new issues in their pitch for every election. If we look at the manifestoes of the parties, the leaders have shifted from the ‘traditional approach to manifestoes to a set of guarantees’.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File Photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File Photo)

The Congress party came up with 25 guarantees, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), banking on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced ‘Modi ki guarantees’. Regional parties such as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) or the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) too, had announced their respective guarantees for the voters.

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The campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha election is coming to an end on Thursday and the last or the seventh phase of polling is due on June 1. From guarantees to the Constitution, and now with the latest debate on Mahatma Gandhi, the campaign for the biggest election in the world has come full circle.

Row after PM links Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy to film

No one knew of Mahatma Gandhi globally before a film on the father of the nation was made, PM Modi said in a possible reference to a 1982 British biopic by Richard Attenborough, sparking a political controversy.

“Mahatma Gandhi was a noble soul of the world. Was it not our responsibility that in these 75 years, people in the world know about Gandhi? No one knew about Gandhi. When the Gandhi film was made, for the first time there was curiosity in the world about him,” he told ABP news.

As usual, Modi’s comments kicked up a political row.

“People whose world views are shaped up in shakhas (RSS branches), will not be able to understand Gandhi ji. They can understand (Nathuram) Godse and adopt the path shown by Godse. Gandhi ji was an inspiration for the entire world. Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein… they all got inspired by Gandhi,” Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi said in a short video shot in front of the Dandi march statue at Mother Teresa Crescent.

Congress party chief Mallikarjun Kharge too, attacked Modi, saying, “Those whose ideological ancestors were involved in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi along with Nathuram Godse, can never follow the path of truth given by Bapu. Now the lie is going to pick up its bag and go away,” he said in a post on X. Godse, a right-wing activist, shot Gandhi dead on January 30, 1948.

Modi’s meditation: Congress moves EC

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to embark on a 45-hour meditation on Vivekananda Rock Memorial starting on Thursday with the conclusion of the campaigning for the last phase of the election, arrangements are being put in place for the major event. Around 2,000 police personnel and security agencies will be posted to maintain a tight vigil as PM Modi meditates. Starting from May 30 evening he will meditate to the evening of June 1. The place has been chosen because Swami Vivekananda was believed to have received his divine vision there.

But Congress raised objections to Modi’s meditation plan.

“We told the Election Commission that during the silence period of 48 hours, no one should be allowed to campaign, directly or indirectly,” senior Congress leader told Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters after meeting Election Commission officials at the poll body’s office in Delhi.

Singhvi, however, clarified that the grand old party is not against “whatever any leader may do.”

“The PM’s meditation, on the other hand, will be a violation of the Model Code as the silence period would be from 7am on May 30 till June 1,” he added.

The retreat is a “tactic” by the Prime Minister to either keep campaigning or to “keep himself in the headlines,” Singhvi remarked.

“We have asked the Election Commission that the PM should postpone his ‘maun vrat’ (vow of silence) by 24-48 hours to the evening of June 1. But if he insists on beginning this tomorrow, the media should be directed not to telecast it,” the senior Supreme Court advocate stated.

It’s Mamata vs Modi in Abhishek Banerjee’s battleground

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the latter used money-power to become a leader, hours after Modi warned of a political upheaval in the country in the next six months in which he said political parties, which thrive on dynasty-politics, would disintegrate.

“A national leader should be secular and humane. But Modi became a leader by fluke using money-power. After becoming a leader, he has become arrogant. I have never seen a liar like him. It is not possible for such a liar to run a country. Such a liar can’t even run a family,” the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo said while addressing an election rally from Metiabruz in the southwestern fringes of Kolkata.

LG’s letter on heatwave to defame Delhi govt: AAP minister

Delhi health minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Wednesday accused Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena of trying to “defame” the state government by saying that it did not do anything for the prevailing heatwave conditions in the city.

According to a letter to Delhi chief secretary Naresh Kumar, Saxena observed that despite the unusual severity of the heatwave, no instructions had been issued by the state government to protect labourers and accused chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet of lacking “sensitivity” and “seriousness.”

Responding to the letter, Bharadwaj wrote to the LG alleging he gave “misleading information.”

He alleged that the objective behind the LG’s letter was not to give “suggestions” to combat the heatwave but to humiliate the state government and portray it in a negative light.

Addressing a press conference, Bharadwaj said, “On May 27, when half of the summer season has passed – a letter from the LG office was written to the Chief Secretary taking a sarcastic dig stating that the Delhi government did not do anything for the heatwave condition.

Prajwal Revanna books Bengaluru flight, police on alert

Police are prepared to arrest suspended Janata Dal (Secular) leader Prajwal Revanna, who is facing sexual abuse charges, upon his arrival at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport, acting on an arrest warrant issued earlier this month. Prajwal has booked a flight to Bengaluru from Munich on May 30 and is expected to land in the early hours of Friday.

“He has booked a flight from Munich to Bengaluru by Lufthansa Airlines. The flight will leave Munich on Thursday afternoon and land in Bengaluru at 12.05 am on Friday,” PTI quoted an official as saying.

Karnataka home minister G. Parameshwara confirmed on Wednesday that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is vigilant and ready to arrest the tainted JD(S) MP.

“All necessary measures have to be taken, as a warrant has been issued against him (Prajwal). He has to be arrested. SIT is waiting. They will arrest him and will take his statement, and their (SIT) process will start,” Parameshwara told reporters.

Asked if Prajwal would be arrested at the airport on landing, he said, “It (arrest) has to be done there (at the airport), as a warrant has been issued. So he will have to be arrested.”

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