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Launch campaign on nationalism: Shah

BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday called upon party workers to “launch a nationwide campaign on nationalism.”

Addressing a rally of farmers in Surat, he said: “The Congress has started a strange debate on the issue of nationalism. We accept this challenge and it’s the duty of every BJP worker to reach out to every household in the country to rejuvenate the love for our nation and build an army of patriots.”

BJP president Amit Shah at a rally in Surat on Sunday.

Mr. Shah, sharing the dais with Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, charged that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi used derogatory words about freedom fighter Veer Savarkar, while its MP Shashi Tharoor compared JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar with legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

“The Congress is now hell-bent on insulting our national heroes. The Congress and Rahul Gandhi are now targeting Veer Savarkar in Parliament,” Mr. Shah said, though he pointed out that it was Indira Gandhi who had donated Rs. 11,000 from her personal savings to build a memorial of Savarkar.

“The BJP has no hesitation in accepting that Savarkar is ours. Rahul ji, you don’t know anything about Savarkar. BJP workers take inspiration from Savarkar’s life and his love for the country,” he said.

On Mr. Tharoor’s remarks comparing Mr. Kumar with Bhagat Singh, Mr. Shah asked how somebody who wanted the country “to be broken into pieces be compared with Bhagat Singh.”

The BJP president asked farmers and party workers to brace for next year’s Assembly polls in Gujarat.