Lok Sabha elections 2019: In Northeast, Rahul Gandhi lashes out at ‘BJP-RSS ideology’
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday highlighted his party’s role in blocking the passage of the citizenship bill in Rajya Sabha and alleged that the Modi government is attacking the culture and way of life of every Northeastern state.Updated: Feb 27, 2019 05:40 IST
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday highlighted his party’s role in blocking the passage of the citizenship bill in the Rajya Sabha and alleged that the Modi government was attacking the culture and way of life of every Northeastern state by trying to impose Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology.
Kicking off his party’s election campaign in Assam at a public rally here, Gandhi said the Congress would fight “the BJP-RSS ideology of hatred and violence” with its own “ideology of tolerance and love”.
Gandhi alleged that the incidents of two youths being shot at in Arunachal Pradesh, Jats fighting non-Jats in Haryana, people from UP and Bihar being chased in Maharashtra and North-Easterners being threatened in Delhi were examples of the “BJP-RSS ideology of hatred”.
“The BJP-RSS ideology is burning every state in the North-East. They are attacking your lifestyle, culture, language and history. They want to impose the Nagpur [RSS headquarters] culture on you,” he alleged, adding that his party would protect the cultural identity of every North-Eastern state if voted to power.
There have been widespread protests across the North-East over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that aims to provide citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Last week, Arunachal Pradesh saw a shutdown and violence over a committee’s recommendation to grant permanent residency certificates to six non-Arunachali tribes.
“It (the citizenship bill) is an anti North-East bill. It’s against the culture, language and history of the region. We are with you in this fight… All states are important for us. Different language, identities make India. All people should get place in India and progress together,” Gandhi claimed.
BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami was quick to respond to the allegation. “Citizenship for persecuted minorities was a promise made by Rahul Gandhi’s great grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, which they never fulfilled. The BJP’s stand is very clear. We stand with the people who have come for reasons of persecution and are suffering without citizenship for more than 70 years,” he claimed.
Speaking to party cadres after the Guwahati rally, Gandhi set a target for bagging at least 20 out of a total of 25 seats from the Northeast. “I am expecting 20-plus seats in the Northeast for the Congress party, nothing less than that. But I think you should try to win 22,” he said.
First Published: Feb 27, 2019 05:40 IST