BJP president Amit Shah launched a scathing attack on the Congress in Sonia Gandhi's Lok Sabha constituency Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh. In a rally, Shah said vowed the free Rae Bareli from dynasty politics, adding "Congress has fooled the people of Rae Bareli". Rae Bareli has remained a Congress stronghold decades.
"Raebareli's public sent several big leaders to Delhi but there was no development here," Shah said.
Despite a hectic schedule due to the Karnataka election campaign, the BJP president visited Rae Bareli days after Sonia Gandhi visited her constituency this week after a gap of nearly two years. There are talks that Sonia's absence from Rae Bareli for almost two years has led to disillusionment among local Congress leaders who are said to be planning to join the BJP.
Shah also took on the Congress for allegedly persecuting the right-wing activists during its regime.
"I ask Rahul Gandhi, you tried to defame Hindu culture by claiming about 'saffron terror', now you should apologise to the nation. Asmeeanand ji has been cleared of charge," Shah said.
A war of words has erupted between the BJP and the Congress after a court acquitted right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case. While the BJP claimed that the verdict has exposed the opposition's party's "appeasement politics", the Congress raised questions on the functioning of the National Investigation Agency.
Former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had in January 2013 at the Jaipur Chintan Shivir of Congress party accused the BJP and the RSS of promoting "Hindu terror" through its training camps, but later he expressed regret over his remarks after the BJP created uproar.
Short circuit and fire during Amit Shah's rally:
Close to the dais from where Shah was speaking, a small fire erupted due to short circuit. Although it was a minor incident with no injury to anyone, Shah said that when something good is about to happen, then obstacles do come.
"Yogi Ji's govt has contributed towards the development of UP. A while ago there was a short circuit here, all media channels were showing smoke. When something good is about to happen some obstacles do come. It's a sign that something big is about to take place in Raebareli," he said.