Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh at the party’s Jan Vedna Sammelan at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi | shekhar yadav
NEW DELHI: The large crowd at the Congress Jan Vedna Samelan (public pain) on Wednesday created an illusion of its past pan-India glory, inspiring Rahul and the Congress leaders who spoke at the gathering to tear the Modi government to shreds over demonetisation, which they called “a disastrous decision” for the Indian economy.
The concern for the Congress’ retreating footprints on the political map were all but forgotten, except when Bharatsihn Solanki, the Gujarat PCC chief, reminded everyone how badly the party needed to win the coming polls.
But Rahul seemed rather upbeat, drawing a distinction between the political thinking of the Congress and the BJP with great gusto. “This is a fight between two philosophies. This is not a new fight. This fight is thousands of years old.
The Congress’ philosophy says daro maat (do not fear). The other philosophy says “instil fear” and scare them. “You look at the BJP’s policies. Their entire aim is to scare the people of the country. Fear terrorism, Maoism, demonetisation, scare the media. In two-three months, in the entire country, they have spread this fear,” Rahul said.
For demonetisation, the reason behind the day-long conference, he had only contempt. Accusing Modi of taking a unilateral, “ill-conceived’’ decision.
“What BJP has done in its two-and-a-half years that the Congress did not do in 70 years — it has targeted institutions, like the RBI, Election Commission and the judiciary,’’ Rahul said. “People in the RSS and the BJP are under the impression that nobody else’s opinion matters but theirs.”
He also said Modi must ask why has the demand for MGNREGA suddenly surged and why people were migrating to villages instead of cities.
He said the philosophy of being fearless had been there in the correspondence between Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and during the Green Revolution, bank nationalisation and other occasions.