New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said he will never apologise for speaking out the "truth" and said it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his "assistant" Amit Shah who need to apologise for "destroying" the country's economy.
Taking a jibe at the BJP for demanding an apology for his "rape in India" remark, Gandhi said, "My name is Rahul Gandhi, not Rahul Savarkar. I will never apologise for speaking truth and nor will any Congressman do so. It is Narendra Modi and his assistant Amit Shah who has to apologise to the country for destroying India's economy."
Gandhi’s statement was a sarcastic reference to Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar, hailed by the Right-wing as a freedom fighter, but whose critics denounce him for sending multiple mercy petitions to the British Raj while serving time in Andaman’s Cellular Jail.
Taking umbrage at Gandhi’s remarks, Union Minister Giriraj Singh took to Twitter to rake up Sonia Gandhi’s Italian roots.
"Vir Savarkar was a real patriot. No one becomes Gandhi and a patriot by merely adopting a surname. One needs Indian blood to become a real patriot. Many people have looted the country in disguise. It is unacceptable."
The minister tagged a picture of Rahul, Sonia and Priyanka. "Who are these three? Are they common people of India?"
Gandhi was speaking at the Congress’ Bharat Bachao rally in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan where senior leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi and P Chidambaram, launched a scathing attack on the Modi government over the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the crippling slowdown in economy.
Accusing the Prime Minister of singlehandedly "destroying" the economy, he said, "It is Prime Minister himself and not India's enemies who has destroyed our economy and (he) still calls himself a patriot".
Gandhi also accused the Prime Minister of "burning" the northeastern states and West Bengal over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, that was signed by President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday night, a day after it was passed in Rajya Sabha.
Slamming the Prime Minister for demonetisation and faulty implementation of the GST, Rahul said, "You must remember he came on TV at 8 p.m. in 2016 and made Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes illegal tender. He hit the Indian economy so hard that it has been unable to recover since then."
He also alleged that the government has waived loans to the tune of Rs 1.45 lakh crore of the industrialists.
Accusing the BJP of working like the enemy of the country, the Congress leader said, "All the enemies of the country wanted to destroy Indian economy and that work has been done by Modi."
"Our enemies cannot do the damage to our economy but out Prime Minister can do it," he alleged.
Referring to violence in the northeast and in West Bengal after the passage of CAA and the condition of Jammu and Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370, he said, "Go to Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura. They are burning. The government works to divide and weaken the country."
"For power, Modi can do anything," he alleged, adding that Modi is concerned with his own image only.
Rahul Gandhi also attacked the BJP and said that you people elected Modi to make the economy stronger five months ago. "You elected him to make the country stronger, but he didn't work on that. Now our GDP is at 4 per cent, farmers are committing suicides. I asked in Parliament how many farmers committed suicide and they said they don't know. They know only one thing and that is to divide the country," he added.
Rahul Gandhi appealed to the party workers to raise the voice against the government to save the country.