‘Abuse from BJP is the biggest gift for me’, says Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi said, “The best thing that has happened to me is the abuse that I have got from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh). This is the biggest gift that they have given to me.”Updated: Jan 25, 2019 15:00 IST
Stepping up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS during his interaction with a group of intellectuals at the Odisha Dialogue in Bhubaneswar, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said “abuses” were “the best gift” given to him by his political opponents.
Rahul Gandhi said, “The best thing that has happened to me is the abuse that I have got from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh). This is the biggest gift that they have given to me.”
“I look at Mr Modi and when he abuses me, I feel like giving him a hug,” Rahul Gandhi said adding, “He is upset with the Congress party. I understand that also but we are not angry with him…That’s our design…We don’t hate people.”
Watch | ‘Feel like hugging Narendra Modi when he abuses me’: Rahul Gandhi
Referring to assassinations of his grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and father and former PM Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress president said that “we have realised that there is nothing to gain from hate.”
He also alleged that the ministries under the Narendra Modi government were being controlled by the RSS, headquartered in Nagpur. He said, “The ministers in Delhi say that they have got OSDs (officers on special duty) appointed directly from Nagpur.”
Rahul Gandhi alleged that under the current ruling dispensation, “there is an systematic assault on the institutions” of the country. “You currently have one institution called the RSS which is the mother ship of the BJP. That believes that it should be the only insitution of the country. The idea is to systematically penetrate the country,” Rahul Gandhi said adding that the Congress “believes in independence of institutions in the country.”
He called it “a mindset difference” while comparing to the ideology of the RSS and the Congress party.
“An assault that is taking place on the institutions of the country… There will be repair work (after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections),” said Rahul Gandhi while describing the alleged attack on the institutions that run the country as “devastating in the last five years”.
The Congress president said the current government at the Centre has ignored the agriculture sector causing huge distress to the farmers across the country. He said, “You can’t simply forget about agriculture. Today, the government is under an impression that agriculture is something that we have to deal with unfortunately. But agriculture is actually the backbone of the country. There is need to transform the agriculture.”
Terming demonetisation , announced by the Modi government in November 2016, and the roll-out of the goods and services tax in July 2017, as big setbacks to the economy, Rahul Gandhi said that the twin-moves destroyed small and medium scale industries. He said, “Small business are going to give you the jobs. But what is happened in the last five years is a massacre of small business. Demonetisation and GST have broken the back of small businesses…Mr Modi has destroyed them.”
Rahul Gandhi also highlighted job creation as “the central question” before the country. “There is not a single state in India that is producing jobs,” he said adding, “We have an education system, mostly in private hands, that is not related to job creation.”
“Everybody talks about economic growth. They say if the economy is growing at 9 per cent, it is okay and if it is growing at 7 per cent, it is not okay. But there can be 9 per cent growth without jobs. We have to rethink our development paradigm,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Calling the Modi government’s approach towards Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) as negative, Rahul Gandhi said, “Mr Modi does not under NREGA. The NREGA was a labour market correction that allowed the people in rural India to have guaranteed employment.”
“MNREGA was not a handout to poor people. It was an attempt to shape out India’s labour market. It was a successful programme…It provided an economic structure in rural India.”
In February 2016, PM Modi had dubbed the MNREGA as “the living monument of UPA’s failure” while commenting on 10 years of its operation. “Do you think, I will put an end to the scheme. My political wisdom does not allow me to do it. This is a living monument of your failure to tackle poverty in 60 years. With song and dance and drum beat, I will continue with the scheme,” PM Modi had said during Budget Session three years ago.
First Published: Jan 25, 2019 13:44 IST