Rahul Gandhi's interaction with Christain priest triggers Congress, BJP spar
Congress's ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra has triggered fresh infighting in the party with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The grand old party on Saturday blasted the BJP for its "mischievous" statement about a pastor who spoke with former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on his 3,570-kilometer journey. Shehzad Poonawalla, the BJP's national spokesperson, shared the post using disparaging language for a Christian priest.
- For months, Congress has seen internal upheaval, with several senior politicians quitting critical positions or retiring entirely.
- Last month, veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from the party and wrote a scathing letter to chief Sonia Gandhi.
- The yatra is seen as an attempt to revive its position as the main opposition party and strengthen itself internally and externally.
"An atrocious tweet from the BJP hate factory is doing the rounds. It bears no relation whatsoever to what is recorded in the audio," Congress' General Secretary in charge of communications Jairam Ramesh, tweeted. "This is typical BJP mischief that has become more desperate after the successful launch of #BharatJodoYatra which is evoking such a huge response. (sic)," he added.
Poonawalla posted a video showing Gandhi interacting with a Christian priest, whom he identified as George Ponnaiah, with the caption "Bharat Jodo with Bharat Todo icons?" Ponnaiah, according to Poonawalla, has previously been arrested for "Hindu hatred." The priest is heard in the video saying that Jesus is a real God "not like Shakti or this power."
George Ponnaiah who met Rahul Gandhi says “Jesus is the only God unlike Shakti ( other Gods) “— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) September 10, 2022
This man was arrested for his Hindu hatred earlier - he also said
“I wear shoes because impurities of Bharat Mata should not contaminate us.”
Bharat Jodo with Bharat Todo icons? pic.twitter.com/QECJr9ibwb
"People who were responsible for the killing of Mahatma Gandhi and the murders of people like Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi, and Gauri Lankesh are raising questions! What a morbid joke!" Ramesh tweeted while hitting back at BJP. He claimed the saffron party trying to harm the spirit of the yatra which will fail.