May 31, 2020
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Best Thing That Happened To Me Is The Abuse I Got From RSS, BJP: Rahul Gandhi

During an interaction in Bhubaneswar, the Congress President said India should be run by its 1.2 billion people and ideology should not be running this country.

Best Thing That Happened To Me Is The Abuse I Got From RSS, BJP: Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Townhall, Bhubaneswar.
Best Thing That Happened To Me Is The Abuse I Got From RSS, BJP: Rahul Gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday charged that the RSS imprint was evident everywhere in the BJP-led NDA government and that the outfit wants to penetrate and control all institutions in the country.

"You currently have one institution called the RSS, mother of the BJP, which believes it is the only institution in the country. They want to penetrate into all other institutions and control them," he said.

The mindset has led to chaos everywhere in the country, including areas of judiciary and education, he maintained.

"We believe India should be run by its 1.2 billion people. One set of people, one ideology should not run the country," he said during an interaction with intellectuals in Bhubaneswar.

The Congress leader also said that his party has a view different from the ruling BJP when it comes to the functioning of key institutions.

"Our party has a different view on how key institutions should be supporting the country. It respects decentralisation, independence of institutions and constitutional advances," he asserted.

Gandhi also said "monopolisation and capture of the education and healthcare system in the country needs to be challenged".

"A middle-class person has to pay crores of rupees to get good quality education. The same is the case in the healthcare system. That needs to be challenged,"the Congress chief added.

Gandhi also spoke about the issue of automation-linked job losses and drew comparisons with the Chinese job market

"We have to compete with China. We have to accept that the single biggest challenge is China's ability to produce jobs after jobs," said Gandhi.

"Why is automation not having impact on job creation in China? When I went to Kailash Mansarovar,I met a couple of their ministers who said job creation is not a problem. The real issue is if you are producing things and are in technology stream, then you don't have a problem," he added.

Gandhi also spoke about the relentless criticism that he has been receiving in politics and said "The best thing that happened to me as a politician and human being was the abuse I got from BJP and RSS, it has been the biggest gift they could give me. I look at Mr Modi when he abuses me and I feel like giving him a hug."

And on disagreements with Modi, Gandhi said" I realise he disagrees with me and I disagree with him, and I will fight him and I will try and make sure that he is not the prime minister but I don't hate him. I give him the right to have his opinion."

Gandhi also sought to differentiate his style from that of Modi and said "Ours is a dynamic process, we listen to the people. Not like Mr.Narendra Modi who thinks he knows everything, there is no scope of feedback. This is the basic difference between us and BJP".

On Priyanka Gandhi's appointment as the AICC general secretary, he said it was not a decision taken over 10 days as reported by a section of the media. In fact, he had been talking to her on this for long. But she had her own problems which did not allow her to take a plunge. Now Priyanka's main job will be to work for the party in Uttar Pradesh.

If Modi will return to power in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress chief said when the Opposition is united, it is impossible for Narendra Modi to come back to power.

On what he would recommend Modi to read, he said his first recommendation would be Bhagwad Gita and Modi needs to read it a couple of times to understand it. He would also recommend him to read "I am That" which is a compilation of talks on Shiva Advaita (Nondualism) philosophy by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, a Hindu spiritual teacher who lived in Mumbai.

Asked about his party's strategy in Odisha, he said his party his fighting the BJP at the national level and BJD in the state, adding there is no difference between prime minister Modi and chief minister Naveen Patnaik. Both of them are autocrats and do not listen to the voice of the people, he said.

"We are fighting Narendra Modi at the national level and a version of Modi in Odisha that is Mr Naveen Patnaik. None of them listen to the voice of people. We have to bring to an end to this autocratic regime and rule of a few bureaucrats," said the Congress president.

Rahul said both BJP and BJD models are the same. Be it Patnaik or Modi, both of them hand over governance to a few bureaucrats. They don't listen to people whereas Congress model is different, he said.

"Believe me, some times the entire Modi Cabinet disagrees with the PM but they don't have to guts to stand before him. During Congress rule, we allow everybody to speak. Some times that becomes chaotic. But we believe in listening to all and take everybody's opinion around," he added.

"Have Mr Modi or Mr Naveen Patnaik ever had such a conversation (townhall)? They think they know everything. I did it because I respect everybody's opinion. I want to learn from you about Odisha. If I think I know more about Odisha than you, then there's something wrong with me," he further said.

Speaking on the RTI, he said it is a weapon of the middle class but Modi government has destroyed it.

"RTI is a weapon of the middle class. But today it is dead. We will make sure it comes alive again," he said.

On jobs, he asked if automation can create jobs in China why can't in India. "How is automation creating so much jobs in China but not here? Production today is completely dominated by China whereas India and West have failed on this. What's the actual results of Modi ji's Make In India?"

"You cannot ignore agriculture. Agriculture is the backbone of any country. This can produce huge number of jobs if it's modernised. We need to transform agriculture."

"Mr Modi has ruined the job market in India. Growth has to be job oriented. Economic growth is not enough if it is not generating jobs. Main challenge is to how we deal with agriculture, jobs, health and education sector," he added.

He is set to kickstart the party's poll campaign in Odisha, the party said Thursday.

The Congress chief's visit comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's back-to-back visits to the state.

Gandhi's tour follows Modi's three visits to the state since December, the latest being on January 15 to the western Odisha town of Balangir.

(with PTI and ANI inputs)

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