In his first interview after being elected as Congress president, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he was confident about winning the Gujarat elections as his party had a definite vision for the people of Gujarat which the BJP lacked.
Speaking to GSTV a day ahead of the second phase of Gujarat elections, Gandhi said some Congress leaders in Delhi had asked him not to campaign too much in Gujarat as it was a BJP stronghold. “But I said I will campaign extensively. I am not bothered about the outcome, but I wanted to do my work. In Gita, it is written ‘do your work not only to get results’,” the 47-year-old leader said.
His words were correctly matched by statistics. Gandhi addressed 30 rallies, counting from the day the polls were announced on October 25. Rahul also spoke at scores of corner sabhas, held interactions with various groups, and visited 12 temples.
When asked if the 2019 Lok Sabha elections would be a direct face-off between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi said he was solely focused on winning the Gujarat elections.”I am solely focused on the Gujarat elections and not much concerned about the 2019 general polls,” he said.
Gandhi, who will formally take over the mantle of the 132-year-old party on December 16, said the Congress had been working hard on ground zero in Gujarat for the past 3-4 months and had spoken to the locals to know of their grievances. “For 3-4 months, the Congress has met the people of Gujarat and spoken to them. I myself have met thousands of people and farmers to know the problems they are facing,” the Congress leader said.
The fact that the BJP released their manifesto as late as the eve of the first phase of elections on December 7 was not lost on Gandhi. Lashing out at Modi, Gandhi reiterated that the PM spent 90 per cent of his campaign time speaking about himself as he had run out of issues to raise or ideas for running the BJP campaign. “We have a vision for people of Gujarat. BJP doesn’t have one. Modiji only speaks about himself and Congress and has stopped talking of development as he doesn’t have any issues to raise,” Rahul said.
Gandhi said the elections was not about Modi or him, but about the future of “Hindustan” and the people. “The elections is about Modi or Rahul, BJP or Congress, but about the people of Gujarat, its youth, farmers and women,” Gandhi said.
Talking about his extensive travel and his experiences in the last three months, Rahul said, “You (people of Gujarat) have not only given so much of love to me, but also taught me so much. I will not forget your love that you have shown on me in the last three months. So wherever I am till I am alive, if Gujarat needs anything you have to just say Rahul come here and I will be here. These are such relations that are made for life and are not broken.”