Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses an election rally. File

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses an election rally. File
| Photo Credit: SANDEEP SAXENA

Lashing out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday accused Mr. Gandhi of “furthering Pakistan’s agenda” in India.

Addressing a public rally in Jalna in the Maharashtra’s arid Marathwada region, Mr. Shah also took aim at Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray, remarking that Mr. Thackeray was “sitting with those parties” (Congress and the Sharad Pawar or SP-led Nationalist Congress Party or NCP faction) who reportedly wanted to bring triple talaq back and run the country on basis of Sharia law.

“How can this country run on the basis of Muslim personal law?” Mr. Shah said, addressing the rally while campaigning for Union Minister and five-term MP Raosaheb Danve, who is the ruling Mahayuti alliance’s candidate for the Jalna Lok Sabha seat.  

Mr. Shah said that a journalist had apparently asked him why Pakistan was praising and supporting Mr. Gandhi.

“I said it is because he (Mr. Gandhi) questions PM Modi’s surgical strikes. On the one hand, Mr. Modi is eliminating terrorism and Naxalism, while he is raising questions on it. Here, Modi-ji is trying to implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act while Rahul Gandhi is opposing it,” the BJP leader said.

He said that making Mr. Modi the PM for the third time was like giving a “bullet for bullet” response to Pakistan.

“On one hand, we have Rahul Gandhi who goes on a holiday to Bangkok and Thailand during the summers, while on the other, we have PM Modi who has been continuously working for the nation for the last 23 years without a holiday. He has made this nation safe and developed, and increased our pride… The Congress and the INDIA alliance never allowed the construction of Ram Mandir while PM Modi won the Ram Mandir case and carried out the temple consecration ceremony,” Mr. Shah said.

He targeted Mr. Thackeray by criticising his decision to ally with the Congress and Sharad Pawar’s NCP (SP) given that both parties had opposed the renaming of Aurangabad to Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar.

“It was Balasaheb Thackeray who had said the city should be named after Chhatrapati Sambhaji, who was killed by Aurangzeb while defending Swarajya. And yet, his son, Uddhav Thackeray is sitting with such parties today for the sake of a position. Uddhav Thackeray will never say whether the construction of the Ram Mandir was good or bad, nor speak about triple talaq,” Mr. Shah said.