Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Thursday criticised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for “deserting the ship when the captain should be the last to leave”. He referred to Rahul as a “nakli (fake) Gandhi fulfilling the dream of asli (real) Gandhi of party’s dissolution after Independence”.
Chauhan was addressing mediapersons during a visit to Nagpur as part of his nationwide tour to oversee the BJP’s “sadasyata abhiyan” (membership drive).
“Congress is in dire straits. There is a stampede in the party and the party is on ventilator… In such a situation, instead of getting into action mode, Rahul Gandhi left the party rudderless. Mahatma Gandhi had favoured dissolution of Congress after Independence but nakli Gandhi is fulfilling the dream of asli Gandhi,” said Chauhan.
He criticised the Congress, saying, “One family continued to have its stranglehold on the party and the whole party remained enslaved.”
When asked about his criticism of a “stranglehold” in the context of Rahul stepping down, Chauhan described the resignation as “drama”.
The former CM refuted the allegation that BJP was behind the current political crisis in Karnataka but added that the party was in a position to stake a claim for forming the government. Asked if similar developments could be expected in Madhya Pradesh, Chauhan said, “we are not doing any such thing anywhere. They are crumbling in Karnataka on their own. If we had the intention in Madhya Pradesh, we wouldn’t have allowed Congress to form the government there.”
“We won 303 seats in the recent Lok Sabha elections. But our best has yet to come. We have to establish governments in states where we don’t have it at present,” he added.
The BJP leader said the party was raising a team of 200 workers for every booth and “an army of 18,000 full-time vistaraks (extension workers)” in Maharashtra.
“We already have 11 crore booth-level workers and have started a membership drive with the target of six crore enrollments. But looking to the overwhelming response to the drive, we might reach the 10-crore mark,” he said.
Chauhan said the aim of the drive was to reach out to people from “all walks of life and all professions”.
“We are not doing this for power, but for BJP’s aim of nation-building,” he added.