New Delhi: The newly-elected Congress President, Rahul Gandhi, hints at greater democratisation and major changes in the party, with more exciting people projected in key positions and bringing young faces within the party fold.
In his first exclusive interview to the Congress-sponsored National Herald daily on internet and its sister web papers Navjivan in Hindi and Qaumi Awaz in Urdu, the 47-year-old leader rubbishes BJP’s claim that the Congress fought the recently held Gujarat elections on casteist lines. He said credit goes to the Congress to bring together OBCs, Dalits and Patidar community on one platform.
“Instead of dividing people on caste lines, we have brought leaders from different communities, including Alpesh, Jignesh and Hardik together,” he underlined.
Amazed at the BJP’s claim that the Congress divided the society, Rahul said: “It’s like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patelji and Jawahar Lal Nehru spending years and years in jail, and Savarkar signing [a] surrender to the British. And then the BJP saying, Gandhi and Patel are their leaders. If you read Patel, you will see he is criticising the RSS. So, it is the propagation of a lie. The truth doesn’t matter to them.”
“There is a very interesting clip of Modi talking about the bullet train where he says, “look, it’s not the reality of the train that’s important, but the the perception of the train”. So, the reality is of no consequence for these people, the truth has no consequence.”
Rahul added: “I liked very much Manmohan Singh’s formulations today, which is the politics of hope versus the politics of fear, or you can say the politics of anger.
“The BJP has divided the society. And they have created a false animosity between our people. I think Congress party’s role is to create a bridge between our people, start a conversation, where we can once again start to say that we all are Indian. Not a particular class, caste or religion, but our first identity is that of an Indian. And after that, come all other identities. And that is something that the Congress ideology can do.”
On the Congress not ready to take on challenge of the RSS-BJP combine organisationally, he said: “There is lot of work that Congress has to do. There are a large number of new people that we have to bring forward. There is tremendous talent in the Congress party that we have to utilise. But one has to realise that there is a systematic campaign against the Congress party, and we are going to show to the country the true face of the Congress. You are going to see a change in the party, you are going to see more of people who excite you, people about whom you can say that they are somebody very interesting who have been put there by the Congress. We would like to be associated with decent persons and solid persons.”
In a reply to another question, he said: “There is tremendous talent in the Congress. Just look at the present Cabinet. And compare with it the Cabinet of the UPA. Just imagine those names. Compare a Manmohan Singhji with Modi. Compare a Chidambaram to Arun Jaitley. Tell [me], who can you compare Pranabda with in their government. Tell me, who can be compared with Antony in their government. So, when you actually look at them, from a policy perspective, it’s not much weight there. You can see it, when you listen to them.”