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In the wake of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi of not taking politics seriously, the grand old party came out in support of its frontrunner, adding that the saffron party should refrain from making unnecessary statements.
While the BJP attacked Rahul for his visit to Italy at the time of farmer agitation in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur, Congress leader P.L. Punia asserted that the latter always stood by farmers at the time of need.
"The BJP's baseless statements are just politics. Rahul Gandhi has always led from the front in supporting farmers. Even with the Land Acquisition Deal in 2013, it was he who prevented the BJP from amending the law and freed farmers from the burden of it. Before indulging in unnecessary politics, the BJP should first analyse what they are doing," Punia told ANI.
Defending Rahul by citing his commitment towards the farmer agitations staged in Mandsaur, Congress leader Pramod Tiwari retaliated against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, questioning as to why he has not taken time out of his 'world trips' to meet the kin of the deceased farmers.
"Rahul Gandhi was the first one to attempt meeting the farmers. However, he was stopped by the government officials. I would like to ask our Prime Minister who has gone to Kazakhstan, Germany and now preparing to go to the United States; do you not have few minutes to spare to meet the distraught farmers? Before questioning Rahul Gandhi, the BJP must expel Shivraj Singh Chauhan and apologise to the farmers," he said, while condemning the recent farmer protest in Mandsaur.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rahul said he would be travelling to Italy ahead the monsoon session of the Parliament to visit his grandmother.
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said, "Will be travelling to meet my grandmother & family for a few days. Looking forward to spending some time with them."
Following this, he drew flak from the BJP, who alleged that politics was 'picnic' for him.
BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said that Rahul does not care about the farmers and that much should not be expected from him.
"We also used to go to our grandmother's house in the summer holidays and so Rahul Gandhi is also visiting. It hardly matters. Do not expect farmers' concern from Rahul Gandhi. He does politics like picnic. Not much should be expected from him," said Vijayvargiya.
"Rahul Gandhi visits India in between his foreign vacations. He is a front ranking leader of the Congress party and the veil of secrecy about his foreign visits make him suspect and his party in the eyes of the people," said Rao.
"The people who are trying to misinterpret his visit we condemn those people. Meeting his maternal grandmother and asking for her health is a part of our culture and tradition. Some people who go and meet their mothers take cameras with them. There is an ongoing farmers' agitation that Rahul is leading and wherever he is he will lead it," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI.
"He will make the farmers' agitation more intense. We totally reject the BJP'S conspiracy. Those who do not know the importance of family only those will condemn this. The whole nation and every congress worker will make the voice of the farmers to expose the BJP of its anti farmers mindset," he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)