Congress party and its supporters seem to harbour inexplicable hatred against Gujarat and Gujaratis. It appears like their aversion for PM Modi and Amit Shah has spilt over to ordinary Gujaratis as the party leaves no opportunity to slight the citizens of the western state.
Days after a huge consignment of drugs originating from Afghanistan and transported via Iran was detected at Mundra Port in Gujarat, the Congress party has come out all guns blazing against the state and its residents, insinuating that Gujarat offers a safe passage for smugglers to get the contraband imported in India.
Social media campaign by Congress to vilify Gujarat and Gujaratis
A hashtag #BJPGujaratDrugsModel is being run on Twitter, with several verified Twitter handles of Congress party units and functionaries tweeting it to cast aspersions on Gujaratis of being the facilitators of drug smugglers. The slander campaign is launched months before Gujarat goes to poll in 2022.
“There are several ports across the Indian coastline, yet drug smugglers only want to use Gujarat,” the official Twitter account of Congress tweeted along with sharing an infographic that maligned Gujarat as a “smuggler haven”.
Another tweet by official account of Congress included yet another infographic to assert that Gujarat is a gateway of smuggling drugs in the country.
Similarly, Congress functionaries and other Twitter accounts associated with the Congress party also participated in the social media campaign to defame Gujarat.
Habitual fake news peddler and Congress leader Gaurav Pandhi also eagerly participated in the party’s campaign to slander Gujarat and Gujaratis. Without providing evidence to substantiate his claims, Pandhi asserted that under BJP rule, consumption of drugs increases, which is essentially equivalent to accusing Gujaratis of being drug addicts since Gujarat is ruled by the BJP.
Besides, Congress even convened a press conference to assert that Gujarat provides conducive route for drugs to be smuggled in to India. The press conference was addressed by Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera who alluded that people in Gujarat are morally corrupt to have allowed their state to be used for smuggling drugs in the country.
Like most of their arguments and contention, Congress’ smear campaign against Gujarat and Gujaratis seems to have no logical grounds and is based on perhaps pathological hatred for the state that catapulted PM Modi and Amit Shah to the national politics.
Even so, Congress’ questions regarding the drug seizure in Gujarat have been utterly ludicrous. It has asked why smugglers preferred Gujarat’s coast and not Andhra’s. The answer to this is quite simple. It is possibly because Gujarat lies on India’s west coast and is closest to Afghanistan/Iran, the source country of drug consignment.
For the container to reach the Andhra coast, it would have had to traverse through the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Such long-distance sailing would have involved greater risks of being caught by coastal guards than the risks involved in transporting the container to nearby Gujarat. One assumes that Congress and its leaders are well aware of the geographical advantage Gujarat presented to the smugglers, but in their pathological hatred for the state, they overlooked such facts and proceeded to vilify it.
Congress even highlighted that Gujarat has been one of the states where drugs consignments have been routinely caught. Yet again, it is a testament to the integrity of the authorities guarding the coastal areas of Gujarat that drugs transported from outside India are not allowed to be smuggled into the country and caught at the checkpoints.
If Congress supporters are to be believed, the managing authorities are to be blamed if any contraband is seized from their respective premises. By this logic, the Kerala government must be responsible for all those people who stuff their backside with gold and get caught every day. Similarly, perhaps Arvind Kejriwal and Uddhav Thackeray are to be blamed if criminals are caught for smuggling illegal items in Delhi or Mumbai.
While Congress supporters continue with their campaign to slander Gautam Adani and his business group for the seizure of drugs at Mundra Port, it is worth noting that the ship that carried the contraband was from Iran and the containers that held the drugs were from Afghanistan. The ship was caught just after entering the Indian waters. As per reports, DRI officials were alerted about the drugs and the operation was carried out over several days to finally seize the major heroin shipment.
Past incidents when Congress has insulted Gujarat
Nevertheless, at the heart of this vilification campaign is the visceral hatred that Congress and its leaders harbour for Gujarat and Gujaratis. Interestingly, it comes at a time when the state is gearing up for assembly elections in 2022. But it has not stopped Congress from disparaging the state and its residents.
As such, the party has a storied history of insulting Gujarat. Earlier in February 2021, Senior Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi while campaigning in poll-bound Assam expressed his hate for Gujaratis, stating that he will take money from Gujarat tea traders and give them to the tea garden workers in Assam.
Speaking at a public meeting, Rahul Gandhi had claimed that Assam tea workers get paid Rs 167 per day wage while ‘traders in Gujarat’ get tea gardens. He did not give any proof to back his claims. He ‘promised’ that should Congress come to power in Assam, the workers will get Rs 365 per day wage. “Where will the money come from? It will come from Gujarat’s traders”, he claimed.
This was not the first time the Gandhi scion had slighted Gujaratis. During an election rally in the run-up to the 2019 elections, Rahul Gandhi had mocked an entire community in Gujarat by saying, “Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi… how come they all have Modi as a common surname? How come all thieves have Modi as a common surname?”