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"Shakti worshippers will give befitting reply to Congress, INDI alliance": PM Modi

Shivamogga (Karnataka): Criticising Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his 'Shakti' remark, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the Congress and INDIA bloc has challenged the concept of 'Shakti' adding that every woman and Shakti worshippers in the country, will teach the opposition alliance a lesson on June 4 (counting day of Lok Sabha polls).

Rahul Gandhi earlier had said that "there is a word 'Shakti' in Hinduism. We are fighting against a Shakti".

Addressing a public meeting in Shivamogga, Prime Minister Modi said, "Yesterday an announcement to destroy Shakti was made from Shivaji Park (in Mumbai). How much it must have hurt the soul of Balasaheb Thackeray. Nari Shakti ka yahi aashirvad mera sabse bada kawach hai (Blessings of Nari Shaki is my biggest security shield). No other government has given so much focus to Nari Shakti since Independence."

He further stated that an attack on 'Shakti' means an attack on daughters and women in the country.

"The people of the INDI alliance want to destroy this Shakti. They hate the increasing shakti of Maa Bharti. An attack on Shakti means an attack on women, daughters, Maa Bharti. INDI alliance and Congress has challenged this Shakti, our daughters, and women of this country will give them a befitting reply on June 4," he said.

Rahul Gandhi, in his comments made on Sunday in Maharashtra, raised concerns about the operation of EVMs to emphasize the opposition's struggle against the might of the state.

"There is a word 'Shakti' (might) in Hinduism. We are fighting against a Shakti (might of the state). The question is, what is that, Shakti and what does it entail for us? The soul and integrity of EVMs have been traded to the King (Modi). This is a fact. Not just EVMs but every autonomous institution of the country, be it the ED, CBI or Income Tax Department, have traded their spines to the Centre," Rahul said in an address in Mumbai.

After Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's 'Shakti' remark sparked outrage, with BJP leaders criticising him for his statement, the Congress has come in support of Rahul Gandhi.

On Monday, Congress leader Pawan Khera launched an indirect attack on the ruling BJP, saying that now this country will not be run by "demonic power" but by "divine power".

In a post on X, Khera, lashing out at the BJP, said "women were being made to run naked in Manipur, which power was keeping you silent?"

"Ten years ago, when your party was organizing morchas in favour of rapists in Kathua, Unnao, and Hathras, did you not remember the worship of Shakti? When the female wrestler was on the road and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was inside your house, which power were they worshipping? This election will be between divine power and demonic power and the victory will be of divine power," he asserted.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi also appealed to the voters to wipe out Congress from Karnataka.

"In these Lok Sabha elections, wipe out Congress completely. You have to come out with this resolution on April 26 and May 7," he said.

Taking a further dig at the Congress, PM Modi said that "the Congress is a party that will go to any extent to gain power".

"The British have left, but the Congress has not left the British mentality of divide and rule. Congress first divided the country, divided based on caste, based on community, and divided people on the basis of religion, region and language. To gain power, Congress also divided the country, but still, Congress, with its divisive mentality, is not satisfied with this. Congress has again started playing the dangerous game of dividing the country," he said.

Referring to Congress leader DK Suresh's remarks on "separate country for South India", Prime Minister Modi said, "Now they have also started speaking openly about their intention. Congress MP from Karnataka has given a statement about dividing the country once again. Instead of throwing such an MP out of the party, the Congress party is protecting him. Karnataka will never allow such politics and such conspiracies to succeed."

However, DK Suresh later issued a clarification, stating that his remarks were just to "bring attention to the discrimination being done in the southern states by the BJP-led Centre". 

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