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BJP leaders take two steps back thinking I may hug them: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi, who was criticised by the BJP leaders for hugging Modi during his speech on the no-confidence motion last week, said he may have a difference of opinion with the ruling party leaders and he can fight them, but he doesn’t need to hate them.

india Updated: Jul 26, 2018 11:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Rahul Gandhi,BJP MPs,Hug
Congress president Rahul Gandhi (L) greets senior BJP leader LK Advani during a book launch in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI photo)

Indian politics is, by design, “confrontational” and “winner-takes-it-all,” the atmosphere in India is coloured by “hatred, anger and frustration,” but it is possible to fight the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) without “‘hating” them, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday.

He was speaking at the launch of senior journalist Karan Thapar’s memoir, Devil’s Advocate - The Untold Story. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi launched the book.

Former vice-president Hamid Ansari, senior BJP leader LK Ad- vani, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Congress leaders Karan Singh, Ahmed Patel, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Shashi Tharoor, Digvijay Singh and Manish Tiw- ari, Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral and other political, business and media figures were present.

“The atmosphere in India today is coloured with hatred, anger, frustration and politics. Us politicians, members of the government, tend to see the world as us or them. This is not my natural way. This is the design of our politics. It is confrontational and it is winner-takes-all,” said Gandhi.

The Congress chief spoke of a visit to Vietnam, an encounter with a boatman who lost his mot- her to an American bomb and fo- ught the US soldiers, but harbou- red no hatred for the Americans.

“You can fight someone with all your might but hate is an active choice you make. I might disagree with Advaniji, can have a different conception of the country, but I can hug him and fight,” Gandhi said, as Advani looked on.

In a reference to his hug of PM Narendra Modi in Parliament on Friday, he said, “Whenever I come across BJP MPs, they take two steps back, thinking I may hug them. It is not such a bad thing.”

Gandhi credited veteran Con- gress leader Karan Singh for teac- hing him a lot about the country and his religion. “If there is one thing this religion teaches us, you cannot get imprisoned by hatred. We’ll fight them, but we don’t ne- ed to hate them. I don’t know if we can expect the same from them.”

Tharoor read excerpts from the book; Thapar engaged in a conversation with journalist Rajdeep Sardesai about the book.

First Published: Jul 25, 2018 22:12 IST