Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday led his party on a nationwide fast targeting the Modi government but a picture of party leaders having 'chhole-bhature' before the protest gave the BJP fodder to launch a counter-attack and dub the exercise a "farce" and "joke on Dalits".
Gandhi, whose party had announced the fast over a variety of issues including alleged caste and communal violence, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being "casteist" and anti-Dalit, while observing a day-long fast at Raj Ghat against alleged communalism and non-functioning of Parliament.
- Rahul Gandhi to lead Congress protest against govt's failure on Monday, will hold day-long fast
- Congress protest at Rajghat Live Updates: BJP hits back after Rahul claims he is defending democracy
- Rahul, Sonia will lose their Lok Sabha seats in 2019: BJP hits back at Congress president
- Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar leave stage before Rahul Gandhi arrives at Rajghat for protest fast
The Gandhi scion also said that his party will always stand against the BJP's oppressive ideology.
Speaking to reporters at Rajghat, where he led the Congress's nationwide fast, Gandhi said the grand old party will defeat the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 general election.
The entire country knows that PM Modi is anti-Dalit, it is not a secret...The BJP follows ideology of oppressing Dalits, tribals, minorities. We will stand against and defeat it in 2019 general polls, the Congress President said.
BJP's Dalit MPs say PM Modi is "casteist", he said.
Taking a dig at Gandhi over his attack on the Modi government over Dalit issues, Patra asked if he had abstained even from one meal when anti-Dalit violence had happened in places like Mirchpur, Gohana and Jhajjar when the Congress was in power.
Patra also ridiculed the Congress party's nation-wide fast, saying its leaders had come to the Mahatma Gandhi's memorial to talk about non-violence but the presence of 1984 anti-Sikh riots accused Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler exposed the party's "real violent" face.
ALSO READ| Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar leave stage before Rahul Gandhi arrives at Rajghat for protest fast
"The Congress has fallen into its own trap. What we have seen from Rahul Gandhi today is not a fast but the farce of a fast. (It was) an attempt by his party to fast track his politics to burnish his credentials despite people rejecting him time and again," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told reporters.
The Congress was forced to asked them to leave and it was its admission of guilt, he said.
Meanwhile, even as the Congress made attempts to woo certain sections, it gave the BJP fodder to launch a counter-attack when a picture of party leaders having 'chhole-bhature' before the protest went viral. In no sparing mood, the saffron party slammed the Congress and dubbed the exercise a "farce" and "joke on Dalits".
WATCH FULL VIDEO: