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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Exclusive: Modi nothing like Indira, comparisons are an insult, says Rahul Gandhi

“Every institution in India is facing Mr Modi’s autocratic backlash. Mr Modi believes that he is the Lord of India, just like the British believed,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, adding that the Congress doesn’t believe in this approach.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2019 10:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has said that the decisions of his grandmother, Indira Gandhi, “came from love and affection” and that “her work was uniting in nature”.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has said that the decisions of his grandmother, Indira Gandhi, “came from love and affection” and that “her work was uniting in nature”.(Reuters File Photo)
         

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has dismissed comparisons between his grandmother and former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, and the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. He has called it “an insult to Indiraji”.

“My grandmother’s decisions came from love and affection, her work was uniting in nature and she carried along people and cared for India’s poor,” he said.

“Modi’s decisions come from anger and hatred and his decisions divide the country. And Mr Narendra Modi has absolutely no empathy for the weak and the poor,” Gandhi told Hindustan Times in an interview.

Also read| Exclusive: Division is in BJP, not in our alliance, says Rahul Gandhi

Political analysts may not agree with the Congress president. Modi’s outreach to the poor, through state-run welfare schemes, is similar to what Indira Gandhi attempted.

Indira Gandhi, analysts say, ruled with an iron hand, brooking no dissidence within her party and opposition from without. Her PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) was seen as the epicenter of power during her governments, taking key decisions across several ministries. It is believed PM Modi’s PMO functions the same way.

Indira Gandhi is also widely believed to have enforced her will upon institutions, a charge that is often leveled at the Narendra Modi government.

Rahul Gandhi disagrees.

“Every institution in India is facing Mr Modi’s autocratic backlash. Mr Modi believes that he is the Lord of India, just like the British believed,” he said, adding that the Congress doesn’t believe in this approach.

Also read| ‘Recent results were just the tip of the backlash’: Q & A with Rahul Gandhi

“That is just not how we operate. We have been in government, we have been in Opposition and we believe that you simply do not touch institutions or attack India’s federal structure. You protect institutions because institutions are the soul of India. And Mr Modi is not bigger than India. India is bigger than everything and everyone”.

That comment too has its echo in Congress history. In 1974, DK Barooah, an Indira Gandhi loyalist, is reported to

have said “Indira is India, and India is Indira.”

Also read| ‘I give a job, then...’: Rahul Gandhi on Priyanka’s new role in Congress

First Published: Feb 05, 2019 09:20 IST

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