NEW DELHI: After Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, now Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar has sought clarification from Rahul Gandhi over his purported remark that “Congress is a Muslim party”. The tone and tenor of BJP’s three top guns clearly indicates that the party is out to put rival Congress in a spot with Muslim appeasement barbs.
Asserting that such remarks by a national party chief could not be ignored, Javadekar said, “It (Congress) is a communal party. Its appeasement politics has damaged the country. The history of partition is testimony to this.”Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala retorted that the BJP was banking on “fake news” and was “sowing seeds of communal discord”.
However, BJP strategists assert the party would exploit every opportunity to corner Rahul and his party, knowing well that the Congress would emerge as the fulcrum of Opposition unity in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.The stake is too high for the BJP to let go of any such opportunity — it will be directly pitched against the Congress on at least 150 Lok Sabha seats in states known for straight contests. An example of the BJP’s penchant to turn Congress leaders’ comments to its advantage was seen in Gujarat polls last year when PM leveraged Mani Shankar Aiyar’s “neech aadmi” remark to BJP’s advantage .