POLITICS

Rahul Gandhi tells Gulf News: Congress in 2019 is a lot different from 2014

In an interview to Gulf News, Congress President Rahul Gandhi says why he holds PM Narendra Modi ‘personally responsible’ for the job crisis and how the PM speaks only in monosyllables when they meet

NH Web Desk

He holds Prime Minister Narendra Modi “personally responsible” for the prevailing job crisis in the country, said Congress president Rahul Gandhi in an interview to Bobby Naqvi of Gulf News (Link of the complete interview below).

Congress President blamed GST, demonetisation and “inept” economic management by the Modi Government for the crisis.

“I have no doubt that Mr Modi is not going to be the Prime Minister in 2019,” he asserted. The problem with PM Modi, he said, is that he ‘doesn’t have any respect for experts and he believes that he is the repository of all knowledge’.

Here’re the major takeaways from the interview:

Lessons from Modi

[Modi] doesn’t talk to me. He meets and speaks in monosyllables… he will say ‘hello’. The biggest gift that Mr Modi has given me is that I listen now, I listen very deeply.

Mr Narendra Modi has a lot of anger and a lot of what he says about me comes from that anger. But there are certain things that he says which I listen to.

There is another element that says ‘look, you come from a position where you have had certain advantages’ and it’s true! I have to take into account that truth, I can’t deny the fact that my family was in politics.

But what Mr Narendra Modi doesn’t see is the pain that has come, the violence that has come, the lessons I have learnt. You are handed cards and every card has two sides. Mr Modi too has certain disadvantages and advantages.

Congress of 2019

If you go to MP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, we are listening to people and building our ideas.

We are not deciding, we are asking people what they want. We are going to listen very carefully, our model is completely different than the BJP.

Our model is to bring people into conversation and listen to what they are saying.

Alliances for 2019

There are states where there are possible alliances — Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Bihar… where we are working out an alliance formula.

UP is work in progress. I have heard some statements in the media, but we are going to work together and make sure that we defeat Mr Modi. But I just want to say again — to underestimate the Congress in UP is a mistake.

1984 anti-Sikh riots

I am very clear on 1984 that anybody, regardless of where he comes from, if he has harmed members of the minority community, he should be punished.

The legal system will make sure that the justice is done [in 1984 cases] and we will allow the justice system to work.

The legal structure that we have, the laws that we have, are good enough to deal with the problems as long as institutions like the Supreme Court are free to do their work.

Economy

The GST that has been put in place is actually not a GST, because the GST is one tax and this is multiple taxes and created an orgy of rent seeking. It has broken the back of small and medium businesses.

The entire informal economy was obliterated by demonetisation. It was a scam and indications that it was a scam are slowly coming out.

India has a job crisis, largely created by Mr Modi personally.

Mr Modi sees agriculture as the biggest liability. We see our farmers as an asset [and] as long as they are supported, they are protected, they are linked to the global economy. It means food processing units, cold chains, infrastructure that links the farms to the economy.

India cannot compete with China which has large factories but we can do manufacturing in SMEs.

On BJP

BJP uses bigotry, hatred, violence and anger… that’s not cultural nationalism.

The way we did [countered BJP] it in MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and we gave the BJP a bloody nose in Gujarat, we will counter it by telling people that Mr Modi is corrupt, he has stolen money from people, he protects industrialists like Mr Anil Ambani, that he has destroyed the economy of this country.

Modi government

They have destroyed the institutional structure which has given everything we have… our economy grew on sound economic principles, that has been wiped out.

Mr Modi doesn’t have respect for experts and he believes that he is the centre of all knowledge.

The common perception is that demonetisation is some sort of economic exercise. It wasn’t, it was a scam and indicators that it was a scam are slowly coming out.

Congress of 2014

We came to power in 2004 with a particular set of ideas which were further improvement on the Nineties and they served the country very well between 2004 and 2010.

Those set of ideas ran out of steam towards the end of our second term and we tried to peddle those same ideas in 2014 and we failed.

You can understand that we were ten years in power and frankly there was a certain amount of fatigue, a little bit of arrogance built up and that harmed us.

We were clearly told by the Indian people that in 2014 we are not happy with what you have offered us. We have taken that message home very deeply.

The full interview can be read here.

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