My name is not Savarkar: Rahul Gandhi
Gandhi has been under attack from the ruling BJP over his rape remarks made at a rally in Jharkhand for which he has been asked to apologise.
New Delhi: The Congress' mega rally against the Modi government turned into a show of strength for Rahul Gandhi where the former party president declared that his name was not "Rahul Savarkar" but Rahul Gandhi and that he would never apologise for "speaking the truth".
Mr Gandhi has been under attack from the ruling BJP over his rape remarks made at a rally in Jharkhand for which he has been asked to apologise.
At Saturday's Bharat Bhachao Rally, Mr Gandhi instead asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his "assistant" Amit Shah to apologise for "destroying" the economy of the country. "I was told in Parliament yesterday by the BJP that I should apologise for what I said at a rally. I was asked to apologise for the truth that I spoke," he said.
"My name is not Rahul Savarkar, I am Rahul Gandhi. I will never apologise for speaking truth and nor will any Congressman do so. It is Narendra Modi and his assistant Amit Shah who has to apologise to the country for destroying India's economy," he added in his opening remarks at the party's mega rally in Delhi's Ramlila Maidan.
"That work (of destroying the economy) has not been done by the enemies, but by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. And, (he) still calls himself a patriot," the Wayanad MP said.
The rally is being seen by many as the launch pad for bringing back Mr Gandhi as the president of the party, a post he had quit taking responsibility for the Congress' disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha polls.
Accusing the Modi government of destroying the country's institutions, he said: "This country is being scared and suppressed, but no Congressmen have any kind of fear. I am telling those people in institutions not to fear from anything. The Congress is standing with them. We will together end this atmosphere of fear in the country".
He further charged that the BJP and the Prime Minister have set the entire Northeast on fire and states like Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura are burning.
"He (Modi) has burnt all these places. He divides people and works towards weakening the country, while you people, who have come here, don't divide India and work with your sweat and blood for taking the country forward.
"Your own country is being weakened and divided and our economy is being destroyed. The reason is that Narendra Modi sees only one thing whether the power is in his hand. He (Modi) only works for being in power. He will destroy everything to achieve power," Mr Gandhi said.
On Thursday, at a mega rally in Jharkhand, where Assembly elections are being held, Rahul Gandhi had targeted the government on crimes against women and said, "Narendra Modi had said 'Make in India' but nowadays wherever you look, it is 'Rape in India'."
It was interpreted as a "call for rape" by BJP leaders, whose protests disrupted the proceedings in both Houses of Parliament on the penultimate day of the winter session.