BJP trying to suppress the voice of the Opposition with money power: Rahul Gandhi
On the perception that the opposition has been unable to take on the BJP, Rahul Gandhi said that perception is superficial because the opposition doesn't control institutions, media and judiciary
Targeting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said in Akola on Thursday that all out attempts are being made to end the Opposition parties in the country with the lure of money power.
Addressing the media, he referred to a Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA informing him how he was offered "Rs 50 crore" to join the rebel group but he refused, and the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed in June.
"The Shiv Sena (UBT) MLAs were given Rs 50 crore and taken away by the rival camp. Corrupt people are going there and efforts are on to decimate the Opposition parties. But there's no dearth of good and honest people in the country," said the senior Congress leader.
Dwelling upon the major problems of the people that he encountered during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he said these pertain to the farmers and the youth of the country, who feel "they have no future", and he was raising these issues, demanding answers form the government.
"Farmers are in distress, they are not getting due price for their produce, they are not getting compensation for crop losses, no loan waivers or insurance claims. When the (former) UPA government was in power, we gave the farmers all help. The youth of the country are worried are there's no guarantee of jobs even after getting the necessary qualifications and skills, spending money taken on education loans," Rahul Gandhi said.
Reiterating that the voice of the Opposition parties is being suppressed, the Congress leader said that whenever they attempt to raise the concerns of the masses like demonetisation, economy, inflation, China, parliament, the mikes are switched off, there is pressure on the institutions and the judicial system from the ruling party.
"We are highlighting all these questions in the yatra and getting a tremendous response, lakhs of people are joining everywhere and we are being showered with love," he added.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also said Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar helped the British, adding that he wrote a mercy petition to the then rulers.
The Congress leader showed a paper to the media persons, saying that it was a letter written by Savarkar to the British.
"I will read the last line, which says 'I beg to remain your most obedient servant' and is signed V D Savarkar," Rahul Gandhi said at the media interaction during his Bharat Jodo Yatra foot march which is in the last leg in Maharashtra.
Rahul Gandhi said he was of the view that Savarkar signed the letter out of fear and in doing so, betrayed Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Pandit Nehru and other leaders of the freedom struggle.
The Congress MP said the BJP has been spreading hatred, fear and violence in the country.
On the perception that the opposition has been unable to take on the BJP, Rahul Gandhi said that perception is superficial because the opposition doesn't control institutions, media and judiciary.
"Showing compassion and affection even to your opponents are Indian values. The yatra is doing the same," he said.
"You can disagree with the views of your opponent by showing affection and love," he said.
To a question on Congress and opposition leaders "betraying the ideology" to join BJP before elections, Rahul Gandhi said this will cleanse the opposition.
"Those who can sell themselves for money are joining BJP. There are clean people around and they will come to Congress,'' he said.
The yatra was conceptualised because India was internally fractured and in pain, he said.
Comparing the yatra to Mahatma Gandhi's marches was wrong, he said.
To a query on the impact the yatra will have on the Congress, Rahul Gandhi said he is not a soothsayer and can't predict what impact the foot march will have on his party.
With agencies inputs