Bihar is going to change ‘disha and dasha’ of India: Rahul Gandhi
Addressing a virtual meeting of around 1000 party leaders and workers, Gandhi said the alliance with like-minded parties will be based on “mutual respect” and “reasonable give and take” and then only the coalition will be successful in defeating the ruling Janata Dal (United)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine.Updated: Aug 07, 2020 10:23 IST
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday ‘virtually’ sounded the bugle for the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar by launching a stinging attack on chief minister Nitish Kumar and his government for their alleged failure in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and flood situation in the state.
Addressing a virtual meeting – his first ahead of the Bihar polls -- of around 1000 party leaders and workers, Gandhi also said the alliance with like-minded parties will be based on “mutual respect” and “reasonable give and take” and then only the coalition will be successful in defeating the ruling Janata Dal (United)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine.
The Congress is a part of the opposition grand alliance or mahagathbandhan, which also has the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) president Mukesh Sahani.
The assembly elections are due in October-November this year but the seat-sharing talks between the opposition parties was yet to start.
Gandhi alleged that the state government has failed in controlling the coronavirus pandemic and also the flood situation. “It even failed thousands of migrant workers from the state during the lockdown period,” he added.
When Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh pointed out that Gandhi had warned the government in February that the country was going to be hit by a Covid-19 pandemic, the former party chief claimed that India is on its way to becoming the “vishwa guru of coronavirus as the situation is going to worsen” in the next six months.
“Today, I am predicting a much bigger storm of unemployment and a sinking economy which may batter Bihar and the rest of the country in about six months,” added Gandhi.
Attacking the chief minister over his claims of ‘sushasan (good governance)’, Gandhi said despite the people of the state being in despair, he “seems unmoved and his inability to take action in the face of crisis” is now known to all.
Stating that Bihar has been the harbinger of change as Mahatma Gandhi launched his first Satyagraha from Champaran, he said the state even in the coming days will show the way and change the “disha (direction) and dasha (fate)” of the country.
The former Congress chief exhorted the party leaders and workers to fight the upcoming battle by spreading the message of love and compassion and not hatred to defeat the alleged divisive politics of the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
Gandhi also told them that he would be available whenever the Bihar unit wants him to campaign physically in the state.
A Congress leader said Gandhi had finalised a programme to visit flood-affected areas in Bihar but the security agencies did not give the required clearance.
Senior Bihar Congress leader Shamim Akhtar said the party should take seriously Gandhi’s directive on ensuring the alliance percolates down to the ground level.
In the absence of Gandhi, the meeting saw leaders stressing the need to giving tickets to loyalists and workers rather than “controversial and tainted” leaders who will spoil the party’s electoral prospects.
There were also complaints of lack of coordination within the state unit and the launching of the app-based membership drive at a time when the elections are fast approaching.
Senior leader Tariq Anwar spoke about a weak party organisation right from the booth level and stressed the need to strengthen it. State working president Shyam Sunder Singh Dheeraj said some Congress leaders were trying to push for an alliance with the RJD even at the cost of party’s respect.
Akhilesh Prasad Singh praised Congress governments in Rajasthan, Punjab and Chhattisgarh and also Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for “effectively” tackling the Covid-19 situation.