‘Never divide us’: EAM Jaishankar tells Rahul Gandhi after his comment on Amethi

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Updated: Feb 24, 2021 1:18 PM

Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday compared the people of Amethi, the parliamentary constituency which he represented in Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2019, with people of Kerala and said that he feels public in the southern state were more aware about the issues.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ministers have come down hard on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for saying people of Kerala have a better understanding of issues and politics in the country. Gandhi on Tuesday compared the people of Amethi, the parliamentary constituency which he represented in Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2019, with people of Kerala and said that he feels public in the southern state were more aware about the issues.

“For the first 15 years, I was an MP in North (read Amethi). I had got used to a different type of politics. For me, coming to Kerala was very refreshing as suddenly I found that people are interested in issues and not just superficially but going into detail in issues,” Gandhi said in Trivandrum.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress leader contested from two seats — Amethi in Uttar Pradesh and Wayanad in Kerala. He lost Amethi to Smriti Irani by over 50,000 votes but won Wayanad by over 4 lakh votes.

Gandhi’s remarks did not go down well with the BJP leaders who slammed him for running down people of a region for his ‘petty politics’. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar led the charge to tell Rahul Gandhi that he should not run down a region and not divide the people on the basis of geography. In a tweet, he said: “I hail from the South. I am an MP from a Western state. I was born, educated and worked in the North. I represented all of India before the World. India is one. Never run down a region; never divide us.”

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that from Kerala to Uttar Pradesh, everybody had understood Rahul Gandhi. “Divisive politics is your political culture. Not in the north or the south, we see the whole of India as a mother,” Yogi said.

MoS Kiren Rijiju, too, asked Gandhi not to ‘abuse’ Amethi. “Rahul Gandhi Ji, please don’t abuse Amethi and North Indians. Amethi people have give so much chance to your entire family! People from every part of India are good if you are good,” the minister said.

Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi’s mother and Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi is a Member of Parliament from Amethi’s neighbouring Lok Sabha Constituency, Raebareli. Sonia has been an MP from here since 2004. The Congress has held this seat since 1954 except for brief period from 1977 to 1980 and 1996 to 1998.

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