The Congress on Saturday asked who could object to the goal of unifying India, wondering why the BJP was running a campaign of falsehoods and innuendos aimed at defaming and derailing the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
“Who can have an objection to the purpose of unifying the country? That’s the noblest of all objectives,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said.
He asserted that the Yatra was only trying to build awareness about the dangers of divisive politics, high prices, unemployment and economic inequalities. The attacks by the BJP through falsehoods and insinuations on trivial matters show that the ruling party is nervous about the Yatra, Khera said.
“The Yatra is aimed at reclaiming the soul of India. The RSS and the BJP have never been known to do anything that is not divisive, that doesn’t polarise,” he said.
“People expect governments to solve their problems, not to create troubles. But the BJP cannot solve problems because they understand only the language of conflict.”While several lies about the Yatra have been exposed over the past couple of weeks, the Congress has been grappling with a mountain of falsehoods spread by the BJP and its ecosystem through social media.
BJP leader Kapil Mishra has incorrectly claimed that the Yatra was halted on Friday because of the bandh call given by the controversial Popular Front of India, although September 23 had been declared as a rest day two weeks earlier.
A pro-BJP troll, Priti Gandhi, falsely implied that a woman student leader Rahul Gandhi had been photographed hugging was Amulya Leona Noronha, an anti-CAA activist who had been arrested in February 2020 for chanting pro-Pakistan slogans
When her bluff was called, Priti tried to change the topic and open a new flank of attack by asking why Rahul “grab(s) young girls to get pictures”.Another false and mischievous claim was circulated on social media about allegedly drunken Congress leaders coming out of a restaurant. Fact-checking websites clarified that the restaurant doesn’t serve liquor and the Congress leaders had only eaten breakfast there.
Congress communications head Jairam Ramesh regretted that he had to send legal notices almost daily to BJP workers and leaders who were spreading falsehoods about the Yatra.“The BJP is in turmoil seeing the overwhelming response to the Yatra. Even somebody like Anurag Thakur is now speaking against hate speech,” Ramesh said. “Mohan Bhagwat is going to masjid and madrasa. All this is headline management through falsehood and distortions.”
Asked about Rahul’s reluctance to contest the election for party president, Ramesh said: “(Frontrunner presidential candidate) Ashok Gehlot came to persuade him because everybody wanted his leadership. But he said ‘No’. He is a different kind of politician. A different kind of human being. He is not obsessed with the politics of power. He sees this Yatra as tapasya.”