Updated: February 23, 2014 6:09:14 pm
Rahul Gandhi on Sunday accused BJP of practicing “politics of blood” by pitting one religion against another and one caste against another to come to power at any cost, escalating the Congress attack against the opposition party.
The Congress Vice President also said that UPA government was trying to bring anti-graft ordinances after the opposition “blocked” the passage of these bills in Parliament.
“It(BJP) practices politics of blood. Thery don’t see anything but power… power at any cost. They can pit communities and castes against each other, they won’t hesitate in spilling blood if they find it necessary to usurp power. ” Rahul said at a rally at the Parade Ground here.
On the contrary, Rahul said Congress believed in mitigating the pain of people even if it may fall “short” of expectations at times and that it alone has the farsighted vision that can set the country firmly on the path of development.
In a frontal attack on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, he said the Gujarat Chief Minister was speaking about corruption even though he never appointed a Lokayukta in his state and did so only after a judicial order.
“There is still one man in Gujarat who does not come under Lokayukta. All others are under it but not that man”, he said in an apparent reference to Modi.
Hitting out at BJP for not cooperating with government in the passage of pending anti-corruption bills in Parliament, he said, “There are six anti-corruption bills. I spoke about them in media. Our leaders spoke to their (BJP) leaders. They kept silence… The government is ours. We are trying to push those bills in the form of ordinances.”
He tore into Modi for his pitch for “Congress-free” India and invoked religious texts and figures like Gita, Koran and Buddha among others to imply that Congress represented the idea of a secular India which could not be removed.
“We are speaking about thoughts. Their leader says obliterate Congress… They should read Gita. They don’t. It says work for others with humility… Buddha could not be eradicated. Nor could Ashoka and Akbar… Congress cannot be erased. We will fight. We will win. We will form government,” he said.
“They (BJP) don’t see Yeddyurappa in Karnataka. They don’t see corruption in Gujarat, in Chhattisgarh, in Madhya Pradesh… They don’t talk about the disabled, women and youth. All they say is make our man Prime Minister. It will take care of everything,” he said.
Gandhi said Gujarat was developed due to the efforts of its women, small businessmen and traders, STs and youth and Congress believed in empowering these sections of society while BJP believed in “dividing people”.
He also underscored Congress’ pro-modern credentials by recalling that it was the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi who ushered in computers in India and said BJP led by its senior leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who later became PM, vehemently opposed it.
“Rajiv Gandhi spoke about computers. The biggest BJP leader who later became prime minister said India does not need it. It will destroy farmers… Now they (BJP) claim they brought telecom revolution. They have no vision. They have no idea about what India needs,” he said.
On the issue of one rank one pension, Gandhi said the UPA government has fulfilled the long pending demand of armed forces. “Armed forces were the biggest heroes in the rescue operations during the last year’s flash floods in Uttarakhand,” he said.
He highlighted UPA’s decision to raise the number of subsidised cylinders available to households from nine to 12 and passage of Right to Education and Food bills to argue that Congress was the only party which understood the common man’s concerns.
Congress, he said, would now bring a law to ensure health care to everybody.
He also reiterated his party’s commitment to the passage of Woman Reservation Bill and said India cannot be a super power if its women are not empowered. “Congress will give tickets to women wherever they can. I am standing with you.” “We gave reservation in local bodies. Now we will give it in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. We will give it in organisation. India can only be a half super power if women are not given their due,” he said. “We have made arrangements for better representation of women in panchayati raj institutions.
“Efforts are underway to ensure fifty per cent representation to women in Vidhan Sabhas and the Lok Sabha because the Congress is convinced that no development is possible without the women of this country come forward and contribute to it,” Gandhi said.
Spelling out basic difference between Congress and its political rivals, Gandhi said while the Congress believes in empowering people, its opponents believe in concentrating power into a few hands.
Describing RTI as a very effective weapon in fighting corruption, he spoke of his role in its introduction and the passage of Lokpal in Parliament.
It is the Congress which has always generated fresh ideas to give a direction to this country and this time again it is the same old party which has a roadmap for development, the Congress Vice-President said.
Targeting BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi without naming him, Gandhi said there are people with a single point agenda of becoming prime minister.
“They go to people saying make me PM and everything will be fine. However, we have a different approach. We have a definite vision for the development of the country. “We have identified the thrust areas like empowerment of women and employment of youth for overall development,” he said.
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