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    BJP is playing politics of hatred: Rahul Gandhi

    Published on September 24, 2023

    From Our Political Correspondent

    New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha Member from Kerala Rahul Gandhi has accused the ruling BJP for playing politics of hatred for electoral gains. Mr Gandhi was in conversation with Pratidin Group Director of Business Rishi Baruah in the one-on-one session as part of a Media Conclave organised by the Group in the national capital today.

    Citing the example of the ongoing unrest in the Northeastern state of Manipur for the past five months, the Congress leader said, “I have been in politics since 2004 and I must have travelled to pretty much every district, every state.  I have never seen what I saw in Manipur, in my entire life in Indian politics. I have never seen this where Government of India has absolutely no control. The politics of hatred that BJP has been playing with has basically destroyed the state of Manipur. The idea of Manipur does not exist anymore. It has to be brought back to life. The culprit is BJP. It is an extreme example.”

    Rahul Gandhi further accused that the ruling BJP was more into their “politics of hate, disruption and divisiveness to distract the public at large from burning issues like escalating unemployment and uncontrolled price rise.

    Asked about his recent political adventure to take a bike ride to Pangong Lake in Ladakh, Rahul Gandhi elucidated how it was necessary to create a connection with the people and give out a message. He said, “We do politically motivated tours, but when you look around, most of the politicians just go to a place, stand on the podium, deliver a speech and come back. I don’t think that is as powerful a method. When we do tours, we think about the message we are going to give. For instance, I went to Ladakh to show the people there that they are not inaccessible, that cut off from the rest of the country.”

    Speaking on his massive Bharat Jodo Yatra and what he learned from it, Rahul Gandhi said, “It was absolutely necessary. In the 21st century India, the communication architecture is so captured by the BJP that it is practically impossible to talk to the people. The big learning was that the old-style communication, by going among the people, pioneered by Gandhi ji, still works and what was beautiful for me was no matter how the BJP tried to distort facts, we could connect with the people. Personally, I learnt that where you think your limit lies, is actually not where your limit lies. Its where it begins.”

    Exuding confidence of the party’s win in the upcoming state assembly elections and talking about what he would like changes he would bring if voted to power, Rahul Gandhi said, “I did a speech in parliament where I raised a point where the core of the Indian government – 90 people who run this country, they have much more power. While, MLAs and MPs were supposed to decide policy, that’s how we started, but bureaucrats decide policy. I look at top 90 bureaucrats (secretaries with the Union Government) in the country and I was shocked to know that only three of them are OBCs. Now the question that arises is what is the percentage of OBC, dalit, or other minority communities in India? If we cannot know that, we cannot to address the issue of fairness. Caste census now is the central pillar for thinking about equity in this country at a broader level. Are we giving our kids education, health care for the elders? In Rajasthan, the health care solutions that we have are cutting edge anywhere on the planet. In Chhattisgarh, some of the work we doing, traditions, farmers. In Karnataka, the social security system is exceptional– these are examples. These can become a framework at the national level.”

    Talking about the BJP’s political tactics, he said, “We learned a very important lesson in Karnataka. The lesson was the BJP wins elections by distracting and not allowing us to construct our narrative and so what we did in Karnataka is that we fought the election in a way that the BJP could not. BJP is trying to distract everyone from the caste census as they know that the caste census is the fundamental thing that the people of India want but they don’t want to have that discussion. Every time we bring a point to the table, they distract and we learned how to deal with it. In a situation where the BJP is controlling the media, we are adapting and controlling the narrative. If you look at Bharat Jodo Yatra, we controlled the narrative; they put in thousands of crores to distort that narrative but they couldn’t do it.”

    To a question on the unity of the Opposition parties the Congress leader quickly reacted,  “Don’t think the opposition isn’t capable of adapting. We are adapting, working together, we are 60% of India’s population.  BJP is in for a surprise in 2024.”

    Targeting the BJP and speaking about the INDIA alliance, he further said, “The BJP has basically created a friendly monopolist. His name is Mr Adani, and I assume you heard his name. He has created this gentleman and is essentially handing over the key industries of our country to this gentleman. And this gentleman controls a significant chunk of the media in this country.  There are other monopolists but this man this main gentleman. There is a massive concentration of wealth that this gentleman has and there is a huge amount of money that the BJP is generating from this. There is media control, there is financial control. Ask any businessman in India what happens to them if they support an opposition party.”

    Regarding the upcoming Assembly polls, Rahul Gandhi said with confidence “as of now the Congress is certainly winning Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, probably winning Telangana, and there is a close contest in Rajasthan which the party believes it will emerge victorious in.”

    To a specific question on the challenges the opposition group INDIA is confronting he said, “We are facing a financial attack, media attack but we are doing pretty well. We have banded together; I have never seen opposition working like this before where we can sit down on the table and have civil discussion. Have great deal of flexibility. I am greatly impressed that all the opposition parties are showing because we understand what is at stake here. We are not fighting now a political party; we are fighting an Indian state. We are fighting to defend the idea of India and that is why we have given our name INDIA.”

    Describing the recently introduced Women’s Reservation Bill as aploy to distract the attention of the public, the Congress Leader said, “The Women’s Bill can be implemented tomorrow morning, if the BJP was actually serious about doing it. The single act to involve more women in politics was taken by INC to reserve 33 % of seats in Parliament for them. BJP opposed it at that time. The first thing they were planning in this special parliamentary session was India ko bharat kar do, but they realized after facing backlash, there is a huge cost to it.”

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