As his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra resumed in Chhattisgarh on 11 February, after a two-day break, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said that the “BJP and RSS are spreading hatred while love is in the DNA of this country”
Gandhi said his party wants a “Hindustan for the future generation where hatred and violence do not exist”, while addressing a gathering in Kevdabadi Chowk in Rajgarh.
He said, “At present, hatred and violence is being spread in every corner of the country. Some say they don’t like others on the basis of their language, some say they don’t like others on the basis of the states they belong to. Such thoughts will weaken the country.”
Gandhi asserted, “The Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are spreading hatred, while love is in the DNA of this country. In this country, people belonging to different faiths and having different thoughts live together peacefully with love.”
Gandhi slammed PM Narendra Modi for not visiting strife-torn Manipur so far; this despite hundreds of people dying and scores of houses getting torched since May last year.
He said there is a civil war underway in the north-eastern state and the Union government does not seem to be in control.
Gandhi had started the day’s yatra after offering tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi Chowk in Rajgarh and proceeding to the Kharsia constituency in the district.
Gandhi, who was in an open vehicle, was accompanied by a huge crowd of Congress leaders and supporters who had gathered at the square, including state Congress in-charge Sachin Pilot, state party chief Dipak Baij and leader of the opposition Charan Das Mahant.
About Manipur, Gandhi told the gathering ruefully, “When I visited there, those from the Meitei community asked me not to get Kuki security personnel, while Kukis said the same for Meitei personnel.”
Meanwhile, speaking to a public gathering, Gandhi slammed the Agniveer scheme — as part of which soldiers are recruited in the armed forces for a short term. He spoke of the experiences of almost-recruits who had taken him into confidence. Gandhi said the Congress would ensure that the 1.50 lakh youth — whose recruitment had been put on indefinite hold or dismissed mid-way — do get justice at last.
Gandhi also touched upon the partisan attitude and lack of transparency in the matter of strategic choices by the defence ministry in other areas. “All defence contracts are being awarded to (industrialist Gautam) Adani. When I raised this issue in Parliament, my membership was cancelled and I was asked to vacate my official residence. I don’t need their house as I live in the hearts of people,” he asserted.
The Congress leader said he decided to embark on the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra to directly connect with the people as the legacy media does not show issues connected to them. He said, “What you will see in the media is the wedding of children of Adani-ji and Ambani-ji, and Aishwarya Rai dancing there. You will also see Amitabh Bachchan there. You will see the World Cup (cricket). You will see 3-4 billionaires.”
The media does not show issues like farmers’ deaths, labour problems and so on, he claimed. “The media does not hear our voice. Therefore, we have come directly to you,” Gandhi told the crowd.
The BJNY will cover 536 kilometres in all in Chhattisgarh. It will pass through Raigarh, Sakti, Korba, Surajpur, Surguja and Balrampur districts, before entering Jharkhand on 14 February.