The nationalism pitch is catching up well in the Delhi election campaign trail as leaders across party lines are using it to appeal to voters in its favor. On Tuesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi cornered the BJP on the same pitch and asked if any of its leaders have ever raised 'Hindustan Zindabad' slogan in Pakistan.
He cited an incident of a Congress leader, who raised the slogan in the neighboring country to take a jibe at the ruling party.
Addressing a poll rally in Jangpura, Gandhi said that the Congress candidate Tarvinder Singh Marwah, who is contesting the election on the party's ticket went to Pakistan in 1987 and raised the "Hindustan Zindabad" (Long live India).
"The BJP leaders talk about patriotism. Show me just one BJP leader who raised 'Hindustan zindabad' slogan in Pakistan. Congress' Jangpura candidate (Tarvinder Singh Marwah) did that and he went to jail for it," he said.
Speaking to , Marwah said that he raised the slogan in response to anti-India slogans by Khalist elements at Nankana Sahib.
"The Khalistan movement was raised under the patronage of Pakistan in the 80s. After the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, the demand for Khalistan was at its peak. At that time, Khalist elements used to raise anti-India slogans at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, one of the holiest pilgrimage sites of Sikhs," he said.
"I went to Nankana Sahib from Delhi for the Baisakhi program in 1987 and shouted slogans of Hindustan Zindabad and Khalistan Murdabad to respond to the Khalist forces there," Marwah said.
He stated that Pakist security personnel detained him following the sloganeering.
Marwah said that he along with his associates was kept in anonymity for the next four days, where they were mistreated.
However, they all were later released after the intervention of the Indian High Commission. At that time, Marwah was around 27 years old and was a Youth Congress worker.
( With inputs from ANI )