Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the BJP over Adani and China issues, as he likened the business conglomerate to the British East India Company saying the party would keep raising questions about its business practices until the truth comes out. Buoyed by the recent "success" of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he also urged the party to formulate a new plan to carry forward the "tapasya" undertaken through the Yatra and that he, along with the entire country, will participate in it, indicating he is ready for another such initiative.
Addressing the 85th plenary session of the Congress here, Gandhi said the party through its Bharat Jodo Yatra instilled a love for the tricolor in Kashmiris, while the BJP had taken it away. He also attacked External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on his recent remarks on China, saying it did not show nationalism but cowardice and that these were in line with V D Savarkar's ideology of "bowing before the strong"."I want to tell you something about the government's thinking. A few days ago, in an interview, a minister said that China's economy is bigger than India so how can we fight them? When the British ruled over us was their economy smaller than ours," Gandhi said, without naming Jaishankar.
Noting that it does not mean that one doesn't take on anyone who is stronger, he said, "This is not nationalism. This is cowardice. It is (V D) Savarkar's ideology that if someone is stronger than you, bow before them." Launching a strong attack on the government on the Adani issue, the former Congress chief charged that the industrialist was working against the country by cornering its entire wealth and signalled to make it a poll issue in upcoming elections. The US-based Hindenburg Research had made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation, against the Adani Group. The Adani Group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.
Gandhi said, "When we asked in Parliament what is the prime minister's relation with Adani, our entire speech was expunged. We will ask in Parliament thousands of times until the truth of Adani ji is out, we will not stop." His remark drew a round of applause."I want to tell Adani that his company is hurting the country and is snatching the entire infrastructure of the country," he charged. "The battle for the country's freedom was against one company as it had taken away all wealth and ports, etc.," he said, referring to the British East India Company."History is being repeated. This is work against the country and if that happens, the entire Congress party will stand against it," he said.
Referring to his Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, he said lakhs of people participated in the foot march and he learned a lot during it. He said that as the march entered Kashmir, thousands of people joined it. "A boy asks me when the people of Kashmir are in pain, why are others in the country happy? I told him that it is not so," he said. He said the moment the march entered the valley, police personnel vanished but he saw 'tiranga' (the national flag) being raised by thousands of people of Kashmir, even in areas the worst affected by terrorism.
"The Kashmiri youths have tiranga in their hands and CRPF people said they had never seen this before... We saw the PM's speech in Parliament and he said he also unfurled the national flag in Srinagar's Lal Chowk along with a few BJP people I said he did not understand the issue. "Narendra Modi hoisted the flag at Lal Chowk, but the Bharat Jodo Yatra made thousands of Kashmiris unfurl the national flag. PM did not understand it You took away the feeling of love for the Indian tricolor from the people of Kashmir, but we made them unfurl it," he said, adding that Kashmiris holding the flag told him that they have done so of their own will as the Congress trusted them.
"The love for the national flag comes from the heart and we made Kashmiris unfurl the flag on their own after we awakened the feeling inside them as they trusted us," Gandhi said, amid loud applause. Stressing that the Congress was a party of ascetics and not priests, he said, "We did 'tapasya' for four months and you saw how Congress was energized. This 'tapasya' should not stop. The program should carry on and everyone should participate in it."
"I urge Congress president Kharge ji to make a program of 'tapasya' and we all will join it, give our sweat to this country. I guarantee that not just us, but the entire country will stand with us in 'tapasya' as this country is of ascetics. So make a program, Kharge ji, in which I and all the Congress leaders and workers are involved and so are the people of the country," he said.