Rahul Gandhi compares Narendra Modi to Hitler

NEW DELHI Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:17pm IST

Rahul Gandhi (C), India's ruling Congress party Vice President and son of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, gestures to his party workers before addressing a rally ahead of the 2014 general elections at Balasinor town in Gujarat March 11, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Rahul Gandhi (C), India's ruling Congress party Vice President and son of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, gestures to his party workers before addressing a rally ahead of the 2014 general elections at Balasinor town in Gujarat March 11, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Rahul Gandhi, the heir to the dynasty that leads ruling Congress party, on Tuesday compared opposition leader Narendra Modi to Adolf Hitler - his sharpest attack yet on a rival who is forecast to beat him in an upcoming general election.

Modi, the pro-business candidate for prime minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has topped several opinion polls as the most popular choice to head the next government.

He has electrified the campaign with promises of getting India out of its economic downturn and creating jobs for its burgeoning young population.

But Modi's rivals say the chief minister of the Gujarat is an autocrat who failed to stop religious riots in his state in 2002, in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. He has denied wrongdoing and the Supreme Court did not find enough evidence to prosecute him.

In a speech in Gujarat, Gandhi criticised the Hindu nationalist's development record and contrasted him with the type of leader who had founded modern India.

"There is another type of leader," Gandhi said, after describing independence hero Mahatma Gandhi.

"The biggest example is Hitler. Hitler, who believed that there was no need to learn from the people and who thought whatever happened in Germany was done by Hitler and that the people had nothing to do with it."

The Congress party has lost popularity after a decade in power marred by corruption. In recent weeks a string of leaders have compared Modi's rise to the emergence of fascism in Europe.

"These are the dialogues of the 1970s. They have no relevance in 2014," said Ravi Shankar Prasad, a senior BJP leader, in response to Gandhi's references to Hitler.

Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party and a Modi opponent, tore into his economic model while in Gujarat last week.

India's election is due to start on April 7 and voting will span five weeks. The world's largest democracy has 814 million registered voters, according to the election commission.

Opinion polls predict that the BJP will win the biggest single chunk of votes, but will still fall short of the 272 seats needed for a majority in the 543-seat parliament.

Modi has presided over a period of rapid economic growth in Gujarat and has slashed red tape to attract companies such as Ford (F.N), Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS) and Tata Motors (TAMO.NS).

(Reporting by Shyamantha Asokan and Malini Menon in NEW DELHI; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Angus MacSwan)

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Pending Reform

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Power Theft

Power Theft

India to invest $4 billion to tackle power theft  Full Article 

Debt Funds

Debt Funds

India monitors foreign flows into debt funds, may tighten rules  Full Article 

Bulgari Back in India

Bulgari Back in India

CEO: we shouldn’t have left India so we’re back  Full Article 

 Hindu "Modi-fication"

Hindu "Modi-fication"

Fears grow about Hindu "Modi-fication" of education  Full Article 

Weak Credit

Weak Credit

Hard to hit tax revenue target, credit weak - Jaitley  Full Article 

China Rate Cut

China Rate Cut

China surprises with interest rate cut to spur growth  Full Article 

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

RBI cautious on response to gold import surge  Full Article 

Economic Corridor

Economic Corridor

China commits $45.6 billion for economic corridor with Pakistan  Full Article 

Overseas Funds

Overseas Funds

RBI says overseas borrowed funds can be parked with banks in India  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage