In a recent Congress event in Dehradun, Mallikarjun Kharge, the party president, kicked off the Lok Sabha campaign in Uttarakhand. Addressing the party workers, he emphasized the need to separate religion and politics, stating, “Religion and politics must be kept separate.”
Kharge took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suggesting that Modi seems to be trying to portray himself as the eleventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. He remarked, “Every time you switch on TV, Modi is seen holding forth.”
Highlighting the importance of maintaining the distinction between religion and politics, Kharge expressed concern that when the two get mixed up, it becomes challenging to distinguish between right and wrong. He accused Modi of attempting to blend religion and politics, urging for a clear separation.
Kharge also criticized the government for the Agniveer scheme, claiming that despite promises of job creation, young men are left unemployed after the four-year tenure of the scheme. Additionally, he accused the Modi government of reducing reservations in the appointment of university teaching staff.
Challenging the BJP’s claims of nationalism and patriotism, Kharge questioned whether any of the party leaders had made sacrifices during the freedom struggle or post-independence. He contrasted this with the Congress leaders, citing examples like Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi, who he said had made significant sacrifices for the unity and integrity of the country.
Kharge said, “And you have the audacity to teach us patriotism and nationalism.”