Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Thursday dared the Shinde Fadnavis government to stop the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra which he was leading from Kanyakumari to Srinagar.
‘’If they want to stop Bharat Jodo Yatra, they must stop it. If the Bharat Jodo Yatra is causing harm to the country, then they should stop this Yatra. Everyone should have their own opinion. If the government wants to stop this yatra, it should try, said Mr Gandhi during his interaction with the media at Wadegaon in Akola district of the Vidarbha region.
He was responding to the demand made by the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena MPs Mr Rahul Shewale that the Bharat Jodo Yatra should be stopped especially in the wake of his statement on VD Savarkar.
Rahul Gandhi's comment on VD Savarkar
Mr Gandhi had said at a function in memory of tribal leader Birsa Munda in Washim, “Despite the British offering him land, [Birsa Munda] refused to bow down; he chose death. We, the Congress party, consider him our idol. For the BJP and RSS, Savarkar ji, who wrote mercy petitions to the British and accepted pension, is an idol.” That was the trigger for Mr Shewale to make his demand while the Deputy Chief Minister Mr Devendra Fadnavis strongly criticised Mr Gandhi. Mr Fadnavis alleged that Rahul Gandhi and Congress are “spreading distorted history” about VD Savarkar, “but the people of Maharashtra will teach them a lesson”.
However, Mr Gandhi today stuck to his criticism of Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar over mercy petitions to the British during the freedom struggle. In support of his statement, Mr Gandhi showed a copy of VD Savarkar's letter seeking mercy. ‘’Savarkar ji wrote in the letter 'I beg to remain, sir, your most obedient servant.'
Mr Gandhi said ‘’When he signed this letter, what was the reason? It was fear. He was afraid of the British."
‘’This is my opinion about Savarkar ji signing this letter," he said and cited that Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel spent years in jail, "yet they never signed such a letter". "These are two ideologies. Our party is open to discussion. We have no dictators,’’ he noted.
Rahul Gandhi: 'We were not allowed to speak in Parliament'
Mr Gandhi said currently there are many problems in the country. ‘’We were not allowed to speak in Parliament on the issues faced by the people. There is inflation in the country, there are no jobs, farmers are not getting relief. Efforts are being made to divert the attention of the public,’’ he added.
‘’There are two major problems facing the country at present. Youth are not getting employment in the country. Secondly, the farmers are not getting any relief. Farmers pay crop insurance on time, but they are not getting the money and their loans are not waived, they are not getting help during the crisis,’’ said Mr Gandhi adding that there was no other option other than Yatra to raise the issues of the people. He claimed that the ruling party is putting pressure on the judiciary.
Mr Gandhi alleged that said at this time that they (BJP) are trying to finish the opposition party by giving money. ‘’MLAs are being bought by paying Rs 50 crore,’’ he said referring to the charges made by the opposition in Maharashtra about the alleged exchange of money to cross over especially after Eknath Shinde and 40 legislators staged rebellion against the Uddhav Thackeray led Maha Vikas Aghadi.