‘Call Us Whatever You Want, Mr Modi…’: Rahul Gandhi Hits Back At PM Over East India Company Remark | India News

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks targeting the Opposition alliance ‘INDIA’ and said that ‘call us whatever you want’ but ‘we will rebuild the idea of India’ in Manipur.

“Call us whatever you want, Mr Modi. We are INDIA. We will help heal Manipur and wipe the tears of every woman and child. We will bring back love and peace for all her people,” he said in a tweet.

“We will rebuild the idea of India in Manipur,” the former Congress chief added.

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His response came after PM Modi slammed the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) as the ‘most directionless’ the country has ever seen and cited reviled names, such as East India Company and Indian Mujahideen, to assert that people cannot be misled merely by the use of the country’s name.

With opposition parties rallying around the name ‘INDIA’ for their alliance, Modi, at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Parliamentary Party meeting on Tuesday, cited the history of several organisations, including certain banned extremist and terror outfits, using the country’s name and panned the grouping as a collection of corrupt leaders and parties.

Even the Indian National Congress, the main opposition party, was named so by an Englishman, AO Hume, the prime minister reportedly said.

Organisations that wanted to rule and divide the country have used names like ‘India’ and ‘Indian’ to mislead people, PM Modi added. People have now matured and will not be misled by such nomenclature, he asserted.

With the BJP accusing opposition parties of disrupting parliamentary proceedings, Modi said they have become more irresponsible, making it imperative for the ruling party to behave more responsibly.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge attacks PM Modi

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also attacked Modi and said while ‘we are talking about Manipur, which is burning’, the prime minister is ‘talking about East India (Company) and saying INDIA means East India (Company)’.

Later, in a tweet in Hindi, Kharge said, “While we are talking about Manipur, the prime minister, outside the House, is calling ‘INDIA’ as ‘East India Company’. The Congress party has always been with ‘Mother India’ i.E. ‘Bharat Mata’.”

“The slaves of the British were the political ancestors of the BJP. Prime Minister Modi, stop diverting the attention of the country with your rhetoric. Narendra Modiji, speak about Manipur in Parliament, do not belittle the dignity of the post of prime minister by calling INDIA, that is Bharat, good or bad,” he added.

The Opposition has been demanding that Modi make a statement on the Manipur issue in Parliament before a debate on the matter can be taken up. With both the opposition and the treasury bench members not relenting, a logjam is prevailing in both houses.

More than 160 people have lost their lives and several have been injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.

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