'My mother more Indian than many', says Rahul Gandhi after PM Modi's jibe
Congress President Rahul Gandhi responded Thursday to Prime Minister Modi's and the BJP's frequent jibes about his mother's Italian heritage.
"My mother is Italian. She has lived a large part of her life in India. She is more Indian than many people I see," Rahul said.
He was speaking to reporters in Bengaluru after winding up his campaigning for the Karnataka polls.
Today is the last day of campaigning. The state which goes to the polls on May 12.
Sonia had been in Karnataka earlier this week to address a campaign rally. She said there that Modi "distorts facts".
Ahead of her visit, the BJP had tweeted: “Today, Ms. Antonio Maino is here in K’taka to save her last citadel from falling! Madam Maino, K’taka needs no lessons from the person who was solely responsible for wasting India’s 10 precious years. And to Congress, need to remind you of your ‘import’ jibe?”
PM Modi too had rake up the issue of Sonia's roots.
At a campaign rally, Modi had challenged Rahul "to speak for 15 minutes on the achievements of your government in Karnataka without reading from a piece of paper. You can speak in Hindi, English or your mother's mother tongue.”
"I have now learnt to deal with the Prime Minister. When he can't respond, he distracts," Rahul said.
"This election is not about Rahul," he added.
That was a reference to Modi wondering whether the country would ever accept such an "immature and naamdar (famous)" leader for the post of prime minister.
That came after Rahul replied in the affirmative to a question asking him whether he would take over as prime minister should the Congress win in 2019.
Rahul added that Modi sees him as a "threat".
"Modi has anger inside... he has anger for everybody, not just me ...and sees a threat in me," Rahul said.
Today, Ms. Antonio Maino is here in K'taka to save her last citadel from falling!— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) May 8, 2018
Madam Maino, K'taka needs no lessons from the person who was solely responsible for wasting India's 10 precious years.
And to Congress, need to remind you of your 'import' jibe? https://t.co/7NmhjuoMOM
Rahul said the Congress would win the May 12 elections — the results will be out on the 15th — and that the opposition had restricted itself to making personal attacks on him during the campaign.
The BJP, he added, feels "uncomfortable" when he visits a temple.
"I don't think the BJP understands the term Hindu," Rahul said.
(With inputs from PTI)