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Arun JaitleyVowing to take forward the “ideological battle” on nationalism, Union minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that BJP has won the first round as people who raised anti-India slogans have been forced to say “Jai Hind, if not Bharat mata ki jai”.

Jaitley also took a swipe at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi who had visited JNU following an event where anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.

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Jaitley said, “Some people are questioning the nationalism of Savarkar, who inspired lakhs and crores of countrymen. These very people are attending programmes of those who talk of breaking up India.”

“This is a huge challenge for us. This is a big ideological challenge. We should consider this an ideological battle and I feel we have won its first round. Now people who were raising slogans against the country have started saying they will chant ‘Jai Hind’, if not ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’.

“At least they have said something to convey their allegiance to the country. This was your ideological victory that you forced them to say this,” he said while addressing the Executive Committee meeting of Delhi BJP.

Jaitley said that while BJP’s ideology is inspired by nationalism, “it is a strange situation where talking about breaking the country is called freedom of expression. The law or Constitution does not permit this anywhere. And it is happening in the national capital”.

Jaitley also said the government will launch the ‘Stand Up India’ scheme in the next few days where every bank branch will give Rs one crore loans to SC/STs and women to start business ventures and become big entrepreneurs.

In a scathing critique of Congress, the finance minister said it was shrinking throughout India and the voters will turn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of ‘Congress-free’ India into a reality.

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“Modiji once called for a Congress-free India. Congress has already gone out of Arunachal Pradesh. It can lose its government in Uttarakhand any day. In upcoming Kerala and Assam elections there are clear signals that it will wind up. Indian voters will convert Modiji’s slogan for Congress-free India into reality. We are headed in that direction,” Jaitley said.