The Congress rally against price rise held here on Sunday provided party leaders the much-needed opportunity to launch a massive attack on the Narendra Modi government on the issue of inflation and to give a message to the other opposition parties as well as dissidents inside the party that the Gandhis still called the shots and would not concede ground to any other Opposition party.
With the success of the rally which saw a massive crowd, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot emerged much stronger, and won the trust of the Gandhi family all the more. The Gandhi family present on the dais was looking happy with the success of the mega rally. It was for the first time that the Gandhis were on the dais together since the current Central government came into existence seven years ago.
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi did not address the rally, but was visibly pleased to see the massive turnout. She was seen talking to Gehlot and Rahul Gandhi apparently about the big crowd.
Speaking at the rally, Rahul drew a distinction between the words “Hindu” and “Hindutva”. He said, “I am a Hindu but I am not a Hindutvavadi. All of you are Hindus. Mahatma Gandhi was a Hindu but Nathuram Godse was Hindutvavadi.” Taking a dig at the ruling government at the Centre, Rahul said, “Since 2014, Hindutvavadis have been in power while Hindus have been out of power. These (Hindutvavadis) are false Hindus.”
He added that “Hindutvavadis” only wanted power and they were in power since 2014. He urged the people to throw them out of power and bring back Hindus who follow the path of truth.
He also launched a scathing attack on the Modi government over price rise, issues related to farmers, unemployment and also for working allegedly for certain capitalists.
AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who reached the venue separately, also tore into the Central government. “When you elected them (BJP), you laid your trust in them that the country will progress. They used to say that Congress did not do anything in the past 70 years. But I want to ask them, what did you do in the last seven years? Show us one institution that you built for education, one AIIMS that you built for the healthcare system. The airport that you use to fly was also built by Congress. Today the government wants to sell everything that Congress made to its friends,” she said.
Hitting out at the Centre over growing inflation, she said that the prices of eatables and fuel are sky-high but nobody listens to the common man. “You are here today because an LPG cylinder costs around Rs 1,000, mustard oil costs around Rs 200 per litre, petrol and diesel prices are sky-high, and no one is listening to the troubles being faced by the common man,” she said.
Gehlot and Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal received Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi who reached there after Priyanka.
From the dais of the rally, the Congress leadership managed to give a message to the dissidents and other political parties in opposition who are questioning the capability of Rahul Gandhi. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is already in mission mode against the leadership of Rahul. Other parties too are reluctant to accept Congress in a leadership role. So, the Congress used the rally to give the message to all opponents that neither Rahul nor Congress was weak. The Congress also sent out the message that the party would pose a big challenge to the BJP in future. Rahul Gandhi attacked the Central government in harsh terms and said, “Only two individuals are running the country and as a result of which price rise and other problems are there.”
Gehlot worked hard to make the rally a grand success. Moreover, state in-charge Ajay Maken, K.C. Venugopal and PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasra spared no effort to ensure that the event was a success. Gehlot said: “With this rally ‘Modi Hatao’ mission has begun from Jaipur.” A conch was blown from dais for the symbolic beginning of this campaign.
RAHUL NEITHER HINDU NOR HINDUSTANI: BJP
BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia on Sunday took a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his comment on the “difference between Hindus and Hindutvavadis”, saying that the Congress leader was neither a Hindu nor a Hindustani. “Rahul Gandhi says he is Hindu and not a Hindutvavadi. But the country says that Rahul Gandhi is neither a Hindu, nor a Hindutvavadi, or a Hindustani. The reason is that a conspiracy is being run by Gandhi family to defame Hindu and Hindutva and compare it with terrorist organisations like Boko Haram and ISIS,” said Bhatia.
“Every citizen in this country, even a small child, knows that if anyone is greedy for power, that it is the Gandhi family. For the sake of power, you orchestrated riots in 1984, you did corruption, you ask for proof of surgical strike and say only some trees have fallen during Balakot airstrike,” Bhatia added.
“Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had said that Hindutva means killing of Sikhs and Muslims. This clearly shows hatred of Gandhi family towards Hindu religion. That hatred is coming out in view of upcoming assembly elections,” said Bhatia.
With agency inputs.