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Constitutional bodies not PM’s personal property: Rahul in Wayanad

By, Thrissur
Apr 16, 2024 09:16 AM IST

The constitutional institutions of the country are not Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal assets but belong to every citizen, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Monday

The constitutional institutions of the country are not Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal assets but belong to every citizen, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Monday.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during a public meeting ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, in Kozhikode on Monday. (ANI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during a public meeting ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, in Kozhikode on Monday. (ANI)

Accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre of attempting to capture all constitutional institutions, Gandhi said the coming Lok Sabha elections are a fight between those who want to protect the Constitution and those who want to destroy it. He also accused the BJP of imposing the idea of “one leader in the country”, saying it was an “insult” to the people of the nation.

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Gandhi, a Lok Sabha MP, made the remarks as he launched the second phase of his campaign with a roadshow in Vellamunda in Kerala’s Wayanad, his constituency, from where he is seeking re-election in the coming polls.

Polling for a;; 20 Lok Sabha seats in the southern state will be held during the second phase on April 26 and the results will be declared on June 4.

“You understand very well that the BJP is attempting to capture all the (constitutional) institutions of our country, one by one,” the former Congress chief told the crowd.

Whether it is the judiciary, Election Commission, Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax department or the high bureaucracy, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – ideological fount of the BJP – is infiltrating these systems by putting their men, he said.

“On the other side, there is the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc which believes that these institutions belong to India and not to any one organisation,” he said.

“These institutions are not the personal property of the Prime Minister. They are the property of every single Indian citizen,” he added.

Gandhi’s remarks came days after Modi dismissed the Opposition’s charge that the BJP was out to destroy the Constitution. “As far as the Constitution is concerned, even if Babasaheb Ambedkar himself comes, he cannot abolish it. The Constitution is Geeta, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bible and Quran for the government. For us, the Constitution is everything,” he said at an election rally in Rajasthan’s Barmer on Friday.

Gandhi, however, pointed out how BJP leaders say that they would change the Constitution. “Let me make it very clear, the Congress party will not let the RSS change the Constitution of India,” he said.

Last month, Gandhi alleged that the “ultimate goal of Modi and the BJP is to destroy Babasaheb’s Constitution” after BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde’s statement that the party needs a two-thirds majority to amend the Constitution.

The Congress leader said the Constitution is the document that protects the rights of all Indians regardless of the language they speak, the community they are from, the religion they practice and the state they belong to. Everybody is the same in the eyes of the Constitution, he said.

He also said that India is like a bouquet of flowers and each one has to be respected because it promotes the beauty of the entire bouquet. “This idea that India should have only one leader is an insult to every single young Indian,” the lawmaker said.

He asked why India could not have more leaders and claimed that this line of thought is the main difference between the Congress and the BJP. “We did not get freedom from the British to be colonised by the ideology of the RSS. We want India to be ruled by all her people,” he said.

In the 2019 elections, Gandhi won from Wayanad with a record margin of 431,770 votes. For this election, he kicked off his campaign in his constituency on April 3 by filing his nomination papers and holding a massive roadshow.

Later in the day, at another rally in Kozhikode, Gandhi alleged a nexus between the BJP and Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, and questioned why the ruling party at the Centre and the CPM leader launched attacks on him but did not trade barbs at one another.

“I have not wavered from attacking the BJP because it is an ideological fight. But why is the BJP not attacking the chief minister (Pinarayi Vijayan) of Kerala? Why are they not taking away his house or his chief ministership or getting him interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate? After all, two chief ministers are in jail today,” Gandhi said, referring to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his former Jharkhand counterpart, Hemant Soren, who are in prison in connection with alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy and money laundering in a land deal case, respectively.

“The second question is when the BJP is destroying the Constitution, attacking democracy and destroying the institutions and dividing India, why is the Kerala chief minister attacking me 24 hours a day? I am very happy for him to attack me but he should also spend time on attacking Modi and the BJP-RSS,” he added.

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