Rahul Gandhi’s visit to a pastor in Tamil Nadu during a short break amid the party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ has given a new ammunition to the BJP. The catholic priest, during the interaction with Mr Gandhi, said, “Jesus is the real God…not like Shakti”, drawing sharp reactions.
“This man was arrested for his Hindu hatred earlier – he also said ‘I wear shoes because impurities of Bharat Mata should not contaminate us.’ Bharat Jodo with Bharat Todo icons?” BJP’s Poonawalla, while sharing the clip of their conversation on Twitter. The Congress, in turn, accused the BJP of running a “hate factory, alleging it has turned more desperate ever since the successful launch of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
George Ponnaiah who met Rahul Gandhi says “Jesus is the only God unlike Shakti (& other Gods) “
This man was arrested for his Hindu hatred earlier – he also said
“I wear shoes because impurities of Bharat Mata should not contaminate us.”
Bharat Jodo with Bharat Todo icons? pic.twitter.com/QECJr9ibwb
— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) September 10, 2022
Rahul Gandhi met pastor George Ponnaiah at the Muttidichan Parai Church, Puliyoorkurichy where he camped for a morning break on Friday.
In the video shared by several BJP leaders, Rahul Gandhi was heard asking, “Jesus Christ is a form of God? Is that right?” To which, the pastor said, “He is the real God.”
Mr Ponniah went on to say, “God reveals him(self) as a man, a real person…not like Shakti…so we see a human person.”
“If meeting a controversial pastor, who is known for his visceral disdain for the majority community and their beliefs, Rahul Gandhi’s idea of “Bharat Jodo, then this Yatra is nothing but a sham. How can indulging faith supremacists serve the larger society and bring cohesion?” BJP’s Amit Malviya tweeted.
The pastor was arrested last year in July in Kallikudi, Madurai for a hate speech against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other leaders.
The Congress accusing the BJP of spreading “mischief”, saying the tweet shared by them bears no relation whatsoever to what is recorded in the audio.
“An atrocious tweet from the BJP hate factory is doing the rounds. It bears no relation whatsoever to what is recorded in the audio. This is typical BJP mischief that has become more desperate after the successful launch of Bharat JodoYatra which is evoking such a huge response,” Jairam Ramesh tweeted.
भाजपा की हेट फैक्ट्री एक घटिया ट्वीट वायरल करने का प्रयास कर रही है। ऑडियो में जो कुछ भी रिकॉर्ड किया गया है, उससे इसका कोई संबंध नहीं है। यह भाजपा का विशिष्ट तुच्छ तरीका है। #BharatJodoYatra के सफल शुरुआत और लोगों द्वारा मिल रहे समर्थन को देखकर ये हताश हो गए हैं।
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) September 10, 2022
The Congress party’s ambitious ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ led by Rahul Gandhi began on Wednesday (September 7) from Kanyakumari. The Yatra will include Padayatras, rallies, and public meetings which will be attended by the senior Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.