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

   
Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

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:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Kashmir Attack

Kashmir Attack

Ten dead in Kashmir's worst militant attack in more than a year  Full Article 

OPEC Meeting

OPEC Meeting

Gulf states seek to block OPEC oil output cut.  Read 

E-Commerce Boom

E-Commerce Boom

Online grocers come up trumps in India's e-commerce boom   Full Article 

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP growth set to weaken, business wants reforms more than rate cut  Full Article | Related Story 

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley likely to meet Rajan on Monday to urge rate cut  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

RBI releases final rules for niche bank licensing  Full Article 

Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy

Photo Gallery – Bengali household name Jamini Roy’s paintings  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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