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India's Rahul Gandhi warns of religious trouble on election eve

Published on Apr 6, 2014 10:00 PM
Indian Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi addressing supporters during a rally in New Delhi on April 6, 2014. India, the world's biggest democracy, announced the start of national elections on April 7 that are expected to bring Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi to power on a platform of economic revival. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Mr Rahul Gandhi, frontman for India's ruling Congress party, warned on Sunday on the eve of the world's biggest election that the country faces religious turmoil if the opposition Hindu nationalist party wins power.

Mr Gandhi said majority Hindus would be pitted against minority Muslims if hardliner Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) clinched power - as widely predicted - during the marathon six-week ballot starting on Monday.

"Wherever these people (BJP) go they create fights. They'll pit Hindus and Muslims against each other," Mr Gandhi told a rally in the town of Sirsa, 250km from New Delhi.

"We walk with everybody, be it Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians. We walk with people from all communities, castes, religions and regions and that is our politics," said Mr Gandhi, the 43-year-old scion of India's famous political dynasty. "We don't do politics of anger and division," he added, as he implored voters to back Congress, which looks set for a crushing defeat at the polls after a decade in power.

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