‘Shakti’ Row Explained: How Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Fight Against Shakti’ Remark Triggered A Political Storm

During a rally in Telangana on Monday, Modi stated that fighting 'Shakti' implied a fight against all mothers and daughters, whom he considered forms of Shakti.

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Rahul Gandhi speaking during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra gathering in Mumbai Photo: Getty Images

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hit out at opposition leader Rahul Gandhi for his 'fight against Shakti' remark, made during his speech at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park, calling it an insult to the Hindu faith.

During a rally in Telangana on Monday, Modi stated that fighting 'Shakti' implied a fight against all mothers and daughters, whom he considered forms of Shakti.

Modi continued with his criticism during a rally in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, even after Rahul Gandhi shared a social media post saying the Prime Minister was attempting to change the meaning of his words.

What is Rahul Gandhi’s Shakti remark?

During his last stop of the 63-day Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Mumbai, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in his speech that they weren’t fighting against BJP or one person. 

“There’s a word in Hindu religion- Shakti- we are fighting against shakti. We are fighting against a shakti,” he said.

“As someone said, the spirit of the king is in the EVM. That’s right, the king’s spirit is in the EVM, it is in every institution of India, ED, CBI, Income Tax department,” he added.

Gandhi, while citing the example of a Maharashtra Congress leader who had quit the party, said, “ senior leader from this state, when he leaves Congress cries and says to my mother, Sonia ji, I’m ashamed, I don’t have the courage to fight this ‘shakti’, I don’t want to go to jail.”

“The shakti that I’m talking about, it held these politicians by the neck and took them over to the BJP side,” he said referring to the politicians who have over the years switched parties.

Gandhi’s words, however, he claims were taken in a different context by PM Modi.

How Modi reacted to ‘Shakti’ Comment

During his rally in Telangana, PM Modi said that the INDIA bloc had stated in their manifesto that their fight was against Shakti. 

“For me every mother is a form of Shakti. Every daughter is a form of Shakti… I worship you as a form of shakti. I am a worshipper of Bharat Ma,” Modi said.

“How can anyone talk about destruction of shakti on this land?” he added.

Modi challenged Gandhi and said the “muqabla” would be on, on June 4, which is the day the Lok Sabha election results would be declared.

Rahul Gandhi’s post on X

In a post on X, Rahul Gandhi claimed that the meaning of his words had been changed by Modi because he knew Gandhi had spoken the “deep truth”.

“Modi ji does not like my words, he always tries to change their meaning by twisting them in some way or the other because he knows that I have spoken a deep truth,” he said.

“The power that I mentioned, the power that we are fighting, is the mask of that power, Modi ji.”

The Congress leader added that it was the power that had captured India's institutions, CBI, IT, ED, Election Commission, media, Indian industry and the entire constitutional structure of India.

“I recognize that power, Narendra Modi ji also recognizes that power. He is not a religious power of any kind, He is the power of unrighteousness, corruption and falsehood,” the post read.

Modi hits out again in Tamil Nadu

Addressing the crowd during a rally in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, the Prime Minister again criticised the opposition saying the leaders had repeatedly targeted and insulted the Hindu faith.

"INDI alliance people repeatedly deliberately insult Hindu faith; every statement made by them against it is well thought out," he said.

In Hinduism, Shakthi means "Matru shakthi, naari shakti," he said, referring to women power. 

"INDI alliance which has the Congress and the DMK says they will destroy this."