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India's Rahul Gandhi compares opposition PM candidate to Hitler

Published on Mar 11, 2014 11:15 PM
 
Mr Rahul Gandhi, India's ruling Congress party vice-president and son of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, addresses his supporters during a rally ahead of the 2014 general elections at Balasinor town in the western Indian state of Gujarat on March 11, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Rahul Gandhi, the heir to the dynasty that leads India's ruling party, on Tuesday compared opposition leader Narendra Modi to Adolf Hitler - his sharpest attack yet on a rival who is forecast to beat him in an upcoming general election.

Mr Modi, the pro-business candidate for prime minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has topped several opinion polls as the most popular choice to head the next government. He has electrified the campaign with promises of getting India out of its economic downturn and creating jobs for its burgeoning young population.

But Mr Modi's rivals say the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat is an autocrat who failed to stop religious riots in his state in 2002, in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. He has denied wrongdoing and India's Supreme Court did not find enough evidence to prosecute him.

In a speech in Mr Modi's home state, Mr Gandhi criticised the Hindu nationalist's development record and contrasted him with the type of leader who had founded modern India. "There is another type of leader," Mr Gandhi said, after describing independence hero Mahatma Gandhi.

 
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