New Delhi: Attacking Rahul Gandhi who accused the ruling party of muzzling the youth, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday called him a "principal misleader" of Indian politics and said it showed his "willingness" to "twist" the truth.
Amidst the raging JNU row, the BJP also dismissed as "baseless and wrong" Mr. Gandhi's accusations that the party was muzzling the youth by branding them as "anti-nationals" and said the issue is not between the government and any institution but between the country and traitors.
"On the JNU incident, Rahul Gandhi had levelled some accusations against our party. They are baseless, wrong and ineffective. Rahul Gandhi instead of trying to be a leader has become a principal misleader of Indian politics.
"His remarks in Assam over arrest of (JNU students' union leader) Kanhaiya Kumar is a proof of his willingness to twist the truth. Kanhaiya was arrested because of remarks and slogans which he raised which were anti0national," BJP national spokesperson M J Akbar said.
Observing that slogans referred to the division of the country, Mr. Akbar questioned Mr. Gandhi's nationalism and asked whether he was standing with those people who want partition of the country.
"Entire country knows what was being said in the slogans. It was said that the country will be divided. We want to ask Rahul Gandhi, is he with those people who want to do partition of the country, not once but many times?
"There were not one but many such slogans which were shouted. Where is your nationalism? We thought you would be angered by this but there is sympathy in you (for them)," he said.
Mr. Rahul who was in Assam on Monday had attacked the RSS and the BJP over the JNU issue accusing it of muzzling the youth by branding them as "anti-nationals" and asserted that they will "stand up" and "challenge" them.
Mr. Akbar said Mr. Gandhi should read the Constitution where it is clearly written that the freedom of speech does not mean you will support secession.
"You (Rahul) are saying the issue is of freedom of speech. I request him to read the Constitution. It has been clearly written that freedom of speech does not mean you will support secession. And there cannot be a greater secessionist slogan than this," he said.
Mr. Akbar also said that Kanhaiya had given another "small alibi" speech and Mr. Gandhi was trying to confuse it.
"This issue here is not between the government and students or government or any institution. This is an issue between the country and traitors," he asserted.