Congress leader hits out at BJP over choice of 'Metro Man'

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Bengaluru, Apr 5 (PTI): Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday took a dig at the BJP, saying the party's founders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were sidelined on attaining 75 years while fielding octogenarian 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan for the Kerala Assembly polls.

'People like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi who travelled across the country and built the party (BJP) were sidelined after they attained 75 years of age, asking them to be margadarshak (guide) and remain at home, but they (the party) gave ticket in Kerala to 88-year-old E Sreedharan,' said Kharge.

Speaking at the Babu Jagjivan Ram jayanti at the state Congress office here, he said the saffron party inducted two MLAs from Mamata Banerjee's TMC, aged 82 and 84, and gave them the tickets.

'In this way, they (BJP) preach something and do something else. Such people are increasing, we have to understand it,' he said.

The former Union Minister, accusing Modi and BJP of creating divisions between communities, said the RSS ideology was poisonous.

'If you think about giving a chance to RSS ideology, Narendra Modi leadership or BJP's ideology, it is an end, it's like consuming poison,' he said.

'That (RSS's) ideology is not good for humanity is our stand,' said Kharge.

Alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Bangladesh was politically motivated keeping the Assembly elections in mind.

'The intention of his visit was elections in neighbouring West Bengal, also to show that he was keen on resolving fishermen's issue by raising it at the international- level with Bangladesh.

He (Modi) tried to send an election message to the fishermen community in coastal areas, he said.

Noting that polls were being held in coastal states like West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Kharge flayed the Prime Minister for claiming to have gone to jail for Bangladesh's freedom, by terming it as far from truth.

'He did not claim to be part of India's freedom movement, as he was not born then or he would have done that too,' Kharge added. PTI KSU NVG NVG