Soon after the video of meeting controversial Tamil pastor George Ponnaiah went viral, Congress hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, alleging that the ruling party at the Centre has been spreading lies adding that its “typical mischief” is an attempt to damage the spirit of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
“It is a completely bogus video. What was said in the conversation has nothing to do with the tweet. We have issued the full text of what was said. It is typical mischievous lies being spread by the BJP to damage the spirit of Bharat Jodo Yatra,” said Jairam Ramesh.
Ramesh slammed BJP for dividing the country and said, “We are trying to unite people and to bring people together because India is being broken because of economic inequality, social polarisation and political centralisation. The BJP divides and Congress unites. BJP believes in uniformity while congress unity. BJP rejects India’s diversity but Congress celebrates India’s diversity.”
He further said that this Bharat Jodo Yatra is like Lord Hanuman which will bring ‘Sanjeevani’ for the revival of the Congress party.
“We are determined that this Bharat Jodo Yarta will be a huge success, it will create the new political culture and it will strengthen the Congress party organisation. India needs a strong vibrant Congress and the Bharat Jodo Yatra is Hanuman to create ‘Sanjeevani’ for Congress,” he added.
Taking to Twitter, Ramesh said that the video bears no relation whatsoever to what is recorded in the audio.
“An atrocious tweet from the BJP hate factory is doing the rounds. It bears no relation whatsoever to what is recorded in the audio. This is typical BJP mischief that has become more desperate after the successful launch of Bharat Jodo Yatra which is evoking such a huge response,” he said in a tweet.
BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the priest and said that “it is Rahul Gandhi’s Nafrat Jodo Abhiyan” while adding that today they have met a person like George Ponnaiah, the poster boy of Bharat Jodo Yatra-who challenged, threatened Hindus and said inappropriate things about Bharat Mata. Congress has a long history of being anti-Hindu.”
Poonawalla attacked Rahul Gandhi, “George Ponnaiah who met Rahul Gandhi says Jesus is the only God unlike Shakti (& other Hindu Gods)”
He further said, “Earlier he was arrested for his bigotry remark, when he said, “I wear shoes because impurities of Bharat Mata should not contaminate us.”
Poonawalla took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the priest, saying, “Bharat Jodo with Bharat Todo icons?”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is on a 150-day-long Bharat Jodo Yatra, on Friday met a controversial catholic priest George Ponnaiah in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.
A video clip of Rahul Gandhi’s interaction with the Tamil Nadu pastor went viral, in which Rahul Gandhi can be heard asking, “Jesus Christ is a form of God? Is that right?” to which the Tamil Nadu priest George Ponniah replied, “He is the real God.”
Ponniah goes on to say, “God reveals him(self) as a man, a real person…not like Shakti…so we see a human person.”
Ponniah has a history of delivering provocative statements that have landed him in trouble in the past. He was arrested last year in July in Kallikudi, Madurai for allegedly making a ‘hate speech’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, DMK Minister and others.
Rahul Gandhi met him at the Muttidichan Parai Church, Puliyoorkurichy where he camped for a morning break on Friday.
Pastor George Ponnaiah was arrested last year in July for his hate speech targeting the Hindu community. He made contentious remarks in a meeting on July 18, 2021, at Arumanai in Tamil Nadu.