Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for what he sees as a political message at the inauguration of a new train line. Gehlot took issue with Modi’s decision to name the line after a freedom fighter who belonged to the RSS, a Hindu nationalist organization.
The chief minister accused Modi of trying to “glorify the RSS” and said that the move was “against the spirit of inclusiveness.” He also claimed that the RSS had a history of “communal and divisive politics.”
The prime minister had inaugurated the new train line via video conferencing on Monday. The line runs from Bhilwara in Rajasthan to Chittorgarh, and has been named after Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, a member of the RSS who was a vocal proponent of Hindu nationalism.
Modi had praised Upadhyaya during his speech at the inauguration, calling him a “great son of India” and a “source of inspiration for millions.” He also hailed the new train line as a “gift” to the people of Rajasthan.
However, Gehlot was not impressed with the prime minister’s remarks. In a tweet, he accused Modi of “showing his true colours” and “betraying” the people of Rajasthan.
The chief minister also took a swipe at Modi’s BJP, accusing the party of “trying to divide the country along communal lines.” He urged the prime minister to “focus on development and leave politics aside.”
Gehlot’s criticism of Modi’s speech is the latest sign of tension between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress party in Rajasthan. The two parties have been at loggerheads since the Congress formed the government in the state in 2018.
The BJP, for its part, has dismissed Gehlot’s criticism as “baseless” and accused the Congress of trying to “stoke communal tensions” for political gain.