Jaitley attacks Rahul for sympathising with those who want to 'break India'
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday launched a stinging attack on Rahul Gandhi for voicing "sympathies" for "those who raised slogans for breaking up India" and said it was the Congress vice president's "ideological hollowness" that he did something that likes of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi never did.
The senior BJP leader also termed Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) leader Kanhaiya Kumar's speech, delivered following his release on bail, a "victory for us", saying he had gone to jail for raising anti-India slogans but came back to speak amid slogans of 'Jai Hind' and hoisting of the tricolour.
In his valedictory address to a convention of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, BJP's youth wing, Jaitley said it was the country's "misfortune" that the Congress vice president sympathised with the actions of a "small group of Jihadists and a bigger group of Maoists".
Congress had always been against those wanting to break up the country through the last 100 years of struggle between nationalist and anti-national forces, Jaitley said as he attacked Rahul.
"A new trend has started. Some people want to hold an event to commemorate Yakub Memon and some to commemorate Afzal Guru. These people used to comprise a small section of jihadists and a big group of Maoists.
"Slogans were raised for breaking up the country and it was the country's misfortune that a leader of Congress, which has been in the mainstream so far, went there to express sympathies with those who did so. It was ideological hollowness," he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fulfilled its "national responsibility and emerged victorious", he said, referring to Kanhaiya's speech without naming the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Student Union President.
While the Left has had a "historical tradition" of speaking against the national interest, Congress was always against the conspiracy to break the country except for Emergency when it was supported by Communist Party of India (CPI), Jaitley said.
The JNU row and the opposition attack on the Modi government and BJP was at the centre of the two-day BJYM conclave with party chief Amit Shah, Chief Ministers and a number of Union Ministers raising the nationalist pitch and attacking Congress, especially Rahul.