In what has become a crucial hit out, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has on Wednesday scathingly attacked the Modi-led BJP regime and though he touched on various topics, the crux of his attack was centred over the divide at all fronts under the BJP rule. His attack has come a day of the rollout of the Union Budget 2022 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Amid mixed reactions to the Budget, the Parliament had resumed the session on Wednesday and while addressing the Lok Sabha in the motion of thanking the presidential address, Rahul Gandhi cast an aggressive face against the BJP and urged the Centre to heal the divide by uniting the country again. He said that the government can't rule over India without taking states on board and without consulting the states.
In a strong tone, Rahul Gandhi pointed to the BJP that the party will never rule the people of Tamil Nadu. He said, "There are two Indias, one India is for the extremely rich people - for those who have immense wealth, immense power, for those who don't need a job, those who don't need water connection, electricity connections, but for those who control the heartbeat of the country. And then another India for the poor. The gap between these two Indias is widening."
He said, "India is a union of states which means negotiation and conversation. It is not a kingdom. You will never rule over the people of Tamil Nadu. You are not the king." Referring to Pegasus, Rahul Gandhi noted that these are institutions that attack people. He said, "When PM Modi is personally going to Israel and authorizing Pegasus, he is attacking the people of Tamil Nadu, he is attacking the people of Assam."
Speaking amid the uproar, he said, "You are fiddling with something very very dangerous. I know something about the idea of India because blood has been sacrificed for this country, not by me but by my family members. My father was blown into bits." Speaking on the presidential address, Rahul Gandhi said, "Unfortunately, the Presidental Address was a long list of things that the Govt claims to have done but didn't really contain the deeper strategic issues that we would have liked to see. It didn't touch a couple of central challenges facing our country."
"To me, it seemed that the Presidential Address was a list of bureaucratic ideas instead of a strategic vision. It looked to me as if it has been constructed not by a vision of leadership but by a group of bureaucrats who had to simply put something down on paper", he added. He further said, "There was not a single word on unemployment in the Presidential Address. The youth across the country is looking for jobs. Your govt is unable to provide them with one."
Reminiscing the UPA rule, he said, "UPA Govt pulled 27 crore people out of poverty in 10 years. This is not our data, this is factual data. You pushed 23 crore people back into poverty." He also had touched on the border and territorial security and concerns with the neighbours. He said, "Ask yourselves why you are not able to get a guest on Republic Day. Today India is completely isolated & surrounded. We are surrounded by Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China. Everywhere we are surrounded."
"The Chinese have a very clear vision of what they want to do. The single biggest strategic goal of India's foreign policy has been to keep Pakistan and China separate. What you have done is, you have brought them together", Rahul Gandhi added and underlined that bringing China and Pakistan together is the biggest crime that the government could commit against the people of India. He also said that the judiciary, the Election Commission, Pegasus are the instruments that destroy the voice of the union of states.
While his address has drawn huge national attention, Rahul Gandhi has said that he was a Tamil. When he was asked why he has mentioned Tamil Nadu several times in his address, Rahul Gandhi said, "I am a Tamil." On the other hand, Rahul's remarks had attracted a counterattack by the BJP. Responding to his remark that the judiciary and Election Commission are destroying the voices, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said, "Not only as India’s Law Minister but also as an ordinary citizen, I condemn what Rahul Gandhi has said about India’s judiciary and EC. Rahul Gandhi should immediately apologise to the people, judiciary and EC."
Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's comment that the government has brought Pakistan and China together, India's External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said, "Rahul Gandhi alleged in Lok Sabha that it is this Government which brought Pakistan and China together. Perhaps, some history lessons are in order: In 1963, Pakistan illegally handed over the Shaksgam Valley to China and China built the Karakoram Highway through PoK in the 1970s. From the 1970s, the two countries also had close nuclear collaboration. In 2013, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor started. So, ask yourself: Were China and Pakistan distant then?."
#WATCH | "Main Tamil hoon na (I am a Tamil)," says Congress MP Rahul Gandhi when asked about him mentioning Tamil Nadu several times while speaking on Presidential Address, in the Lok Sabha.— ANI (@ANI) February 2, 2022
He evades the question of not mentioning Uttar Pradesh in his address. pic.twitter.com/OAg9OOxF6Q