'Your family had done deal-fixing': BJP hits back at Rahul Gandhi

    The Hawk
    March31/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    BJP counters Rahul Gandhi's 'match-fixing' claim, alleging past Congress concessions like Katchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka. The intense exchange highlights historical grievances and electoral stakes, spotlighting the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha polls as a critical battle for India's democratic values.

    Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi

    New Delhi: The BJP on Sunday hit back at Rahul Gandhi over his 'match-fixing' accusation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that the Congress government in the past handed over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka clinching a 'deal' with the neighbouring country to benefit the party's first family.

    The BJP's reaction came after Gandhi accused Prime Minister Modi of trying to do 'match-fixing' in the Lok Sabha polls and asserted that if the BJP succeeds in its endeavours, the country's Constitution will be changed and people's rights taken away.

    Addressing a press conference here, BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla also slammed the Congress over Gandhi's claim that the entire country will be on fire if the saffron party returns to power and the Constitution is changed, saying that divisive politics is in the 'DNA' of the main opposition.

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    The Congress did not hesitate to even allow the country's partition on the lines of religion in 1947, leaving a portion of Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistan's occupation, he charged.

    Addressing the I.N.D.I.A. bloc's 'Save Democracy' rally at the Ramlila Maidan here earlier in the day, the former Congress president claimed that if the BJP wins the election through match-fixing and changes the Constitution, the country would not be saved and "there will be fire everywhere."

    Gandhi emphasised that the 2024 Lok Sabha polls was 'not an ordinary election' but rather one to 'save the country's democracy and the Constitution'.

    Reacting sharply to Gandhi's remarks, Poonawalla said, "Some people are talking about match fixing. In 1974, the Indira Gandhi government, compromising the country's national interest and interest of the people of Tamil Nadu, handed over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka to benefit the Congress' first family... Rahul Gandhi ji, your family had done a deal-fixing."

    The BJP spokesperson also accused the Congress of letting Aksai Chin go and come under the illegal occupation of China while a portion of Jammu and Kashmir went under the illegal occupation of Pakistan.

    Poonawalla also blamed the Congress for the partition of India in 1947.

    "Today scion of the Congress' first family, joined by his party's ally (DMK) in South, talks about dividing the country on the lines of caste and language in their bid to create North-South divide following the divide and rule policy of the British," he charged.

    "Betrayal against the country, compromise with national interest, divisive policies has been the part of the Congress' DNA. It has always kept its first family's interest and its ambitions above the national interest. Putting a dot on India, they talk about saving democracy today but they have come together to save their family and corruption," the BJP leader alleged.

    Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi cited a media report to assert that new facts reveal the Congress 'callously' gave away Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka.

    "Eye opening and startling! New facts reveal how Congress callously gave away Katchatheevu. This has angered every Indian and reaffirmed in people's minds- we can't ever trust Congress," Modi said in a post on X, sharing the report.

    "Weakening India's unity, integrity and interests has been Congress' way of working for 75 years and counting," he added.

    Hitting back at Modi, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge asked why he did not take steps to get it back during his 10-year rule and alleged that raising the 'sensitive' issue ahead of elections shows his 'desperation'.

    The opposition leader also questioned why the prime minister gave a 'clean chit' to China after 20 bravehearts made supreme sacrifice in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

    Kharge said that Katchatheevu island was given to Sri Lanka as part of a friendly agreement in 1974 and reminded the Modi government that it too had undertaken a similar 'friendly gesture' towards Bangladesh on exchange of border enclaves.