”Nobody can scare us, we are fearless” and will continue to protect democratic principles, Congress leader Pawan Khera said on Friday, a day after his arrest and interim bail in connection with an FIR over his alleged remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Khera, who reached here to participate in the Congress’ 85th plenary session earlier in the day after the high drama Thursday, also hit out at Modi’s jibe at the Congress over ‘Modi teri khabar khudegi’ slogan purportedly raised against him, and said the prime minister should talk responsibly and discuss people’s issues instead.
Asked whether he regretted the remarks over which he was arrested, Khera alluded to a Hindi film song — ”Hum bolega to bologe ki bolta hai”, and added that, ”Is liye hum kuch nahi bolega (that is why I will not say anything)”.
”Will speak when the time comes. A legal process is on and it is not proper to comment on it,” he told a press conference on the sidelines of the plenary session here.
Khera said the Congress has been playing its role and will continue to do so fearlessly.
”This is a historic plenary session, not just because of the prevailing circumstances in which it is taking place but also because a historic election of the Congress president took place, the whole world saw, and close to it a person named (JP) Nadda ji got an extension (as BJP chief). The extension was given to a person who does not even know how he became the president. This is the condition of our rival party,” he said.
The Congress polls were covered by the media extensively and we are proud of being part of this party, he added.
”We will never back off in protecting democratic principles. If any party can bring the economy back on track, it is the Congress. We know are responsibility and will never run away from it. Nobody can scare us, those who are listening through you, they should also know that we are not scared sitting here and we are fearless.
”We are fearless that is why we took on the Britishers. The organization which aligned with the Britishers against us, we destroyed them also. So you keep locking horns with us, you have the right, but don’t think that you can scare us,” Khera asserted.
He also stressed that the Congress’ ideology is neither left nor right, is a mixture of both and is against extreme right and extreme left.
Asked if Rahul Gandhi was best suited to lead Opposition alliance in 2024, Khera parried the question, saying Congress does not believe in person-centric politics.
He, however, also added that in 2024 it would be a fight of ”one person against the country”.
Khera also launched a scathing attack on the government over the China border issue, alleging that a ”weak prime minister and central government” is in place because of which, despite a brave army, ”we are not able to protect our borders” and the Chinese are continuously intruding into our territory.
Asked about Modi hitting out at Congress members, who had purportedly raised the ‘Modi teri khabar khudegi’ slogan a day ago, Khera said, ”You are prime minister of the country, you should talk responsibly and talk of important issues facing the country.” ”We know you are unable to sleep but the reasons for that are not right. The reasons should be China, price rise unemployment and not Adani,” he said.
Addressing a public rally in Shillong, Modi exuded confidence that ‘lotus’, the BJP symbol, will bloom in the state, as the saffron party-led government has always prioritised the well-being of its people.
Those who have been rejected by the country, deemed unacceptable by people and find themselves immersed in hopelessness are now chanting ‘Modi teri kabar khudegi’ (Modi, your grave will be dug). But, people in every nook and corner of India are saying ‘Modi tera kamal khilega’ (Modi, your lotus will bloom), the prime minister said.
Khera was arrested on Thursday by Assam Police in connection with an FIR over alleged remarks against Prime Minister Modi, a day of high drama that began with him being deplaned from a flight to Raipur and his party leaders protesting on the tarmac. Khera, who was in the headlines this week for apparently fumbling on the prime minister’s father’s name during a press conference, was released on interim bail till February 28 by a Delhi court later in the evening on the directions of the Supreme Court. He had moved the apex court to seek relief in multiple FIRs against him in Assam as well as in the Uttar Pradesh towns of Varanasi and Lucknow.