Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday alleged that the media in the country only shows hatred between Hindus and Muslims, even though it does not reflect reality.

He made the statement at the Red Fort in Delhi during the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra. The march, which the party claims is aimed at countering the Bharatiya Janata Party’s politics of hatred, entered the National Capital on Saturday morning.

“Mediapersons are our friends, but they never show our side on television,” Gandhi said. “That is alright, but they also do another thing...These channels also engage in spreading hatred, they speak of Hindu-Muslim 24x7.”

However, Gandhi said that such media coverage did not reflect the ground reality. “I have walked from Kanyakumari to here, and this is not the truth,” the Wayanad MP said. “This country is one...I have met lakhs of people on these streets. All of them love and embrace each other.”

The Congress leader claimed that the media “has been chained” and that powerful forces are controlling it. He alleged that media organisations are stoking hatred in order to divert citizens’ attention from economic matters.

Gandhi said that the government is giving away citizens’ money and national infrastructure to big industrialists. “This is not the Narendra Modi government, it is an Adani-Ambani government,” he remarked, in a reference to corporate leaders Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani. The Congress leader has frequently accused the Centre of showing favouritism towards the two industrialists.

Meanwhile, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party was citing the coronavirus as an excuse to stop the Bharat Jodo Yatra, ANI reported. “There is no Covid anywhere,” he said. “Nothing happened to anyone. PM Modi himself doesn’t wear a mask. All this is being done to create fear among people and break this Yatra.”

On Tuesday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya wrote a letter to the Congress, asking it to stop the march if Covid-19 protocols cannot be followed. His letter came amid a sharp spurt of cases of Covid-19 in neighbouring China.