Gauri Lankesh murder: Rahul Gandhi smashes RSS-BJP ideology, Nitin Gadkari calls it a ‘nonsense’

Rahul Gandhi and Nitin Gadkari
Nagpur/New Delhi: Hours after veteran journalist Gauri Lankesh was found lying in a pool of her blood outside her home in Bengaluru, politicians have begun slugging it out, trading accusations.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who was among the cross-party voices that commented on Gauri Lankesh’s murder yesterday, today seemingly linked “BJP-RSS ideology” to the killing.

Lankesh, who was an outspoken critic of right-wing forces, died last night after being shot multiple times by a helmet-wearing assailant. The killing sparked protests in Bengaluru and the rest of India and has seen Chief Minister Siddharamiah come under the spotlight.

“Anybody who speaks against the ideology of the BJP, against the ideology of the RSS is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed,” Gandhi said while speaking to media persons.

“The idea is that there should only be once voice in the country.” Rahul seemingly also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, commenting, “Sometimes the PM speaks under pressure but the entire idea is to crush dissent and this is resulting in a very serious problem in India.”

“PM [Narendra Modi] is a skilled Hindutva politician. Unke shabdo mein 2 meanings hote hain. Unke base ke liye ek hota hai, baaki duniya ke liye alag (Modi’s words have two meanings – one for his base of supporters and the other for the rest of the world),” Gandhi said.

The Congress vice-president’s press briefing sparked an angry reaction from Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari who slammed Gandhi’s “nonsense”. There is no proof behind Gandhi’s comments and such allegations are baseless, Gadkari said, adding that PM Modi is not in the country and that it should not be expected of the prime minister to speak on every issue.

Gauri Lankesh, who was the editor of a weekly Kannada tabloid magazine Lankesh Patrike, was killed last night after being shot at least three times. She was shot by a helmet-wearing assailant while entering her home in Bengaluru.

Lankesh was critical of the Hindutva brigade and was last year convicted in a defamation case filed by MP Pralhad Joshi who had objected to a report against BJP leaders.