Support me like you did Indira, says Rahul Gandhi in Chikmagalur
Congress president Rahul Gandhi invoked the legacy of grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi during his public address today in Chikmagalur district in poll-bound Karnataka.
"You supported my grandmother when she needed it the most. I can never forget this. Whenever you need me, I will always be available," said Rahul Gandhi, referring to Indira Gandhi's political comeback which started with the Lok Sabha bypoll win in Chikmagalur in 1978.
"I humbly request you to bless me with your support like you supported my grandmother Indira Gandhi," the Congress president said.
The win in Chikamagalur had come when the Congress was nearly written off after a shock defeat to Morarji Desai-led Janata alliance in the Lok Sabha elections of 1977. The Congress, most would argue, is fighting a similar battle for survival today.
Rahul Gandhi also visited the 1200-year-old Sringeri Sharada Peeth. Indira Gandhi had performed a pooja at the Sharada Peeth and sought the blessings of the Shankaracharya before filing the nomination for the Chikmagalur bypoll. Rajiv Gandhi too visited the temple when was the prime minister.
Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state Congress chief G Parameshwara during his visit to the temple.
Describing his visit to Sringeri Sharada Peeth, Rahul Gandhi said, "There (at the mutt) children are taught about religion. A 14-year-old told me religion means truth, 'Satyamev Jayate'. Others said the same thing. Strange that children know religion better than our Prime Minister who just lies".
Launching a frontal attack on Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi said, "The Prime Minister comes here and talks against corruption but on the stage with him are leaders who have been in jail on corruption charges, including the BJP's CM candidate."
The Congress president said that PM Narendra Modi is "silent" on China "building helipads and airports at our borders in Doklam".
Rahul Gandhi's third leg of of the Jana Aashirwada Yatre focused on coastal Karnataka. Over two days, the Congress president visited Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Chikmagalur and Hassan districts.
Similar to his temple spree ahead of Gujarat election last year, Rahul visited three temples, a church and a dargah during this Karnataka visit.
(Inputs from Nagarjun Dwarakanath in Karnataka)