Strong undercurrent against BJP, a big shift is coming here: Rahul Gandhi

Addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said PM Narendra Modi has also stopped talking about education, hospitals and farmers’ issues.

Written by Syed Khalique Ahmed | Ahmedabad | Updated: December 13, 2017 7:51 am
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi at Jagannath temple during Gujarat Assembly election 2017 campaign Gujarat Assembly election 2017: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited Jagannath temple in Ahmedabad. (Express photo/ Javed Raja)

As the Gujarat poll campaign drew to an end on Tuesday, Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi claimed that there was a “zabardast (tremendous) undercurrent” against the BJP, and the results would be “zabardast.” Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rahul said: “Modiji pehle corruption par bolte thay, lekin jab Jay Shah ka mamla aya, Rafale jet ka mamla aya, toh corruption par bolna bandh kar diya (Modiji used to talk about corruption. But ever since the Jay Shah and Rafale jet issues surfaced, he has stopped talking about corruption).”

Addressing a press conference here, he said Modi has also stopped talking about education, hospitals and farmers’ issues. “Yeh mood mein change sirf Modi mein hi nahin hai. Yeh Rupani mein bhi hai, aur poori BJP mein hai (It is not just Modi who has undergone this change in mood. There is a change in mood in Rupani too, and the entire BJP),” he said.

Read | Gujarat Assembly elections: 34 rallies by PM Modi, 30 by Rahul Gandhi plus his 12 temple visits

“Mood yahan par bilkul badla hua hai… zabardast undercurrent hai. Dekhna, yahan par zabardast badlav aane wala hai. Result zabardast aane wala hai. BJP ghabaraee huyee hai, yeh pehli baar dekha hai ki sabhi agitation par hain… Patidar, OBC, Adivasi, Dalit, kisan, sab agitation par hain… Political mahaul bilkul badla hua hai. Aur mujhe vishwas hai ki hum jitenge (There is a complete change in mood… there is a tremendous undercurrent. A tremendous change is about to come. The result will be tremendous… The BJP is worried, for the first time, everyone is agitating. Patidar, OBC, Adivasi, Dalit, farmers, everyone has launched an agitation… There is a change in the political atmosphere. And I am confident that we will win),” said Rahul.

He said the Congress, for the first time in 22 years, had realised its strength in Gujarat. “Congress party ek saath khadi ho gayee hai, united hai, aur BJP ko challenge kar rahi hai (The Congress party has stood up together, is united and has challenged the BJP),” he said. “Even the BJP has accepted that the Congress is fighting the elections with full strength and a good strategy.”

He said the winter session of Parliament was delayed this year because Modi was afraid of discussions on Jay Shah and the Rafale deal. “But the people of Gujarat are very intelligent. They understand everything. They know why the BJP is not talking about corruption and farmers’ issues,” he said.

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Stating that elections are fought on certain basic issues and political narratives, Rahul said: “A party whose narrative does not change and remains consistent wins the elections. But if you look at the BJP, they were not able to maintain their narrative and frequently changed it, from Narmada, to development, to OBC, to corruption etc.’’

Responding to a question on Mani Shanker Aiyar’s use of the word “neech’’ while referring to Modi, Rahul said he had made his position clear through “words as well as action”. “I have made it clear through my action that I am not going to tolerate the way he spoke about Modi, because Modi is the Prime Minister. But Modi’s comments about Manmohan Singh are also not acceptable. He (Manmohan) was the Prime Minister, he has also worked and sacrificed for the country,” said Rahul.

Read | Gujarat Assembly elections: Congress hopes for 2017 chemistry but it faces an uphill 2012 arithmetic

“Modiji is my political opponent… He has been using offensive language against me. Lekin mere muh se un ke baare mein koi galat shabd nahin niklega (But I will not utter any offensive word against him),” said Rahul. “I want to change the nature of political discourse in the country. It has become nasty, ugly. I want to do politics with love,” he said.

Asked about his temple visits — he visited the Jagannath temple at Jamalpur in Ahmedabad on Tuesday — Rahul said he also went to Kedarnath in Uttarakhand. “It is the BJP’s story that I visited temples in Gujarat only. On my political tour of Gujarat, wherever I got a chance, I visited temples. I felt very happy. I prayed for a golden future for Gujarat and its people, for better development,” he said.

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While he did not respond to questions on Modi’s allegation about Pakistan’s involvement in the Gujarat elections, Rahul directed a question on the Patidar quota issue to state party president Bharatsinh Solanki.

Asked about Modi’s flight in a seaplane, Rahul said: “It is good. If he wants, he can fly in a seaplane. But the issue is elections in Gujarat. The main issue is not seaplanes. It is a distraction… The main issue is what the BJP has done for Gujarat in 22 years. Are there doctors in hospitals? Are there schools and colleges for the poor? Modi should speak on Jay Shah and Rafale deal.”

Rahul alleged that under the BJP, Gujarat has seen “one-sided development”. “Only 5-10 people have benefitted during 22 years of Modi-Rupani rule, the common man has got nothing. Over 90 per cent of colleges are in the private sector. You have to pay Rs 10-15 lakh to get admission in engineering and medical colleges. A poor or middle-class student can’t dream of becoming an engineer or doctor,” he said.

Terming demonetisation and GST as “irrational economic policy’’, he said the Congress, if elected, would waive farm loans, raise the minimum support price(MSP) of agriculture produce, appoint doctors and nurses in government hospitals, and help youth in education and employment. “We will take all decisions by consulting the people of Gujarat. We will not take any unilateral decision,” he said.

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  1. A
    Dec 13, 2017 at 3:56 pm
    1. Assuming, as forecast by Mr. Rahul Gandhi, Congress party wins a majority in Gujarat Assembly, acting on promises made in Congress manifesto will not be an easy task. Be remunerative prices for farm produce or unemployment benefit to youth, there are no easy ways to fulfil such promises. 2. Mr. Gandhi says that remarks of PM Mr. Narendra Modi about former PM Mr. Man Mohan Singh in the context of latter’s presence at dinner hosted for former Foreign minister of Pakistan are not acceptable. Mr. Gandhi found nothing inappropriate when our former PM to attended such a dinner. 3. It has been claimed by those attended diner meeting that there was no mention of Gujarat Assembly election in the said dinner and discussion was only on India- Pakistan relations. Readers like me are curious to know if any suggestions were made in the aid dinner meeting to improve bilateral relations between India and Pakistan by former foreign minister of Pakistan and if they were made can we know a few of them
    1. Sunder Sunder
      Dec 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm
      Reg. 3, you should ask Modi who till now was infamous for SNOOPGATE , because his 'Intelligence' Agencies seem to have snooped on this dinner and its proceedings also.
    2. Sunder Sunder
      Dec 13, 2017 at 2:37 pm
      Trump’s downfall has started in USA with electoral loss today in Alabama of offence-accused Moore whom Trump strongly supported. Our Desi Trump Modi has signalled his downfall has begun by the disgraceful cowardly devious way he conducted Gujarat campaign. Burey din coming up fast ahead for our morally bankrupt SNOOPGATE hero.
      1. Parapuram Joseph
        Dec 13, 2017 at 12:58 pm
        mr. modi failed to live up to the expectations of the people of India. He projected himself too much in too many things! No PM in the history of Independent India gave so much importance to himself/herself - barring to some extent Mrs. Indira Gandhi! The result is there for everyone to WATCH. bjp shall receive a heavy battering in Gujarat elections. And mr. modi's political career shall be in wilderness because he caused much harm to many by his venomous attacks on anything and everything projecting himself as harichandra (or harishchandra!) Away from the theme, for publicity purpose, I invite readers to view my video - Homage to Pandit Nehru by p g joseph - in . Thank you readers. during the Gujarat election should set alarm bells ringing.
        1. K
          Dec 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm
          Joseph, you are viewing Mr Modi through the prism of your communal feeling. It is accepted that Mr Modi's administration has put a tight control of inflow of funds for religious conversion activities. When UPA was in power, the evangelists have been converting poor Hindus by paying paltry sum of Rs 5,000. The Congress kept Indians poor so that evangelists can carry on their dirty activities in India. A vast majority of Indians feel that Mr Modi is the best PM of India. You're talking about JL Nehru but he is the one who took India to drains with his wrong policies. He sowed the seed of political dynasty in India as after Congress many other regional political parties followed this dynasty party. Majority of Indians are very happy with Mr Modi as his approval ratings is above 90 . There are detractors like youself who view only things from the narrow religious angle. That is OK. In India everyone has freedom to express but you cannot sway the majority view on Mr Modi.
          1. Ravishankar V
            Dec 13, 2017 at 2:21 pm
            yes, modi failed to live up to expectation of third class pig, rogue, dirty, worst, citizens of our world kerala and tamilnadu people. He didn't allowed your malabar syria christian missionery expansion program of mass conversion. You are right.
          2. I
            Ishrat Jahan
            Dec 13, 2017 at 12:38 pm
            mobile rate is quarter of yesterday jio mere ambani.
            1. I
              Ishrat Jahan
              Dec 13, 2017 at 12:33 pm
              people of gujrat are smart.they know who stands for italy n who for gujrat
              1. I
                Ishrat Jahan
                Dec 13, 2017 at 12:40 pm
                jio or italian vodafone, 1gb a day or 1gb a month.
                1. I
                  Ishrat Jahan
                  Dec 13, 2017 at 12:40 pm
                  modi ya pappu
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