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Up To Rahul to Clarify ‘North vs South Remark’: Congress Leaders

While leaders like Kapil Sibal had said that Gandhi can clarify, other Congress leaders defended his remarks.

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Former Congress party president Rahul Gandhi
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Congress leaders, specially members of G-23 who have written to Sonia Gandhi for sweeping reforms in the party, have reportedly said that it is up to former party president Rahul Gandhi to clarify his statement allegedly comparing North vs South.

While leaders like Kapil Sibal and Anand Sharma had said that Rahul Gandhi can clarify, other Congress leaders have defended Rahul's remarks.

Anand Sharma speaking to the media said that the Congress had great leaders from the North and the party is grateful to the people of Amethi for electing Congress leaders from Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Captain Satish Sharma to Rahul Gandhi.

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Sharma, who is deputy leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha, said, "Congress never believes in dividing the country on region and religion and does not disrespect any region. Rahul Gandhi had made certain observations, perhaps shared his personal experiences, but in what context he made that observation, he can clarify so that there is no conjecture or misunderstanding.[sic.]”

Further, Kapil Sibal said it is the BJP which is dividing the country but only Rahul can "explain in what context he made the statement."

However, leaders close to Gandhi defended him. Addressing the media, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, "The observation of Rahul Gandhi is for the kind of political culture the BJP has developed."

Earlier in the day, the Congress launched a counter attack on the BJP. Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that Rahul Gandhi has given a clarion call to the people of India to question the governments of the day, whether in the states or at the Centre on issues paramount to the people and to ignore the superficial "toolkit" story being sold by the BJP.

On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi said in Thiruvananthapuram, "For the first 15 years, I was an MP in the North. 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."

The Congress leader’s comment triggered a North vs South debate as he described his stint as a Lok Sabha member from Wayanand in Kerala as ‘refreshing’ after 15 years of representing Amethi in the Lok Sabha.

Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, BJP national President JP Nadda said on Tuesday that the Congress leader has a habit of dividing people. Nadda tweeted, "A few days back he (Rahul Gandhi) was in the Northeast, spewing venom against the Western part of India. Today in the South he is spewing venom against the North. Divide and rule politics won't work Rahul Gandhiji. People have rejected this policy. See what happened in Gujarat," referring to the BJP's landslide victory in the Gujarat municipal polls.

Union Minister Smriti Irani, who defeated Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the last Lok Sabha elections in 2019, tweeted that he is ungrateful. He talks more than he knows and the world has the same opinion about him.

(This story has been published in an arrangement with IANS.)

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