Rahul Gandhi at LSE highlights: ‘2019 will be straightforward — BJP on one side, Opposition on the other’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/rahul-gandhi-live-congress-chief-address-london-school-economics-5323720/

Rahul Gandhi at LSE highlights: ‘2019 will be straightforward — BJP on one side, Opposition on the other’

Rahul Gandhi in London: Congress president Friday addressed students at the London School of Economics (LSE). Here are the highlights of his talk.

Rahul Gandhi speech at London School of Economics (LSE)
Rahul Gandhi at London School of Economics: Congress chief is visiting the UK for a couple of days. (Source: Twitter/@INCIndia)

Rahul Gandhi at LSE: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Friday addressed students of the London School of Economics (LSE). During his interaction, Gandhi said the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was an ideological battle, and that the Congress would only ally with parties which were on the same platform. He added that the elections would be “pretty straightforward”, with the BJP on one side and the entire Opposition on the other.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi addressed a gathering at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in London,  where he compared the BJP’s ideological parent to the “Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world” and accused it of “changing the nature of India”.

The Congress president targeted the RSS for the second straight day during his overseas tour of Germany and the United Kingdom. On Thursday, he had said that while his party binds the people of India, the BJP-RSS divides them and spreads hatred, He also alleged that women have no place in the RSS where they are treated as “second-class citizens”. He made these remarks while addressing the Indian diaspora at a function organised by the Indian Overseas Congress in Berlin.

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Highlights: Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses students at the London School of Economics (LSE).

RG when asked on corruption: 'RTI is being weakened, destroyed'

Rahul Gandhi says the single instrument against corruption is RTI -- it is the arrow that goes right into the heart of the bureaucratic machinery. Unfortunately, it is being weakened and destroyed. The other two instruments are Lokpal and a decentralisation system, the idea of a Panchayati Raj, he adds.

Rahul Gandhi asked on Congress' strategy for upcoming Rajasthan election

On the upcoming Rajasthan elections, Rahul Gandhi says the Congress is looking at a health-care system and how to reach the young, urban Rajasthani. The party is also looking at small and medium industries and how to empower and create jobs. 

Rahul Gandhi speaks about empowering youth at London School of Economics (LSE)

On empowering youth, Rahul Gandhi says, "The political system empowers youngsters. But there simply isn't enough talented, capable youngsters in the system." On transparency and political funding, he says, "The more transparency, the better."

(Source: Twitter/@INCIndia)

Gandhi on functioning of Parliament: 'Need to empower MPs'

Rahul Gandhi: "Have you noticed the level of debate in the Indian Parliament? Are you proud of it? Why is it of such low quality? We have hundreds of experienced politicians, but the conversation isn't what you expect. If you look at the same Parliament in the 50s or 60s, there is a difference. Why?"

"The laws are made in the Prime Minister's office. We need to give the power of making laws to parliamentarians. Then the level of debate will change," Gandhi adds. 

(Source: Twitter/@INCIndia)

On dynastic politics: 'I am elected'

On dynastic politics, Gandhi says he is an elected representative. "The term dynasty is not precise. I am actually elected," he says, in response to a question. "I think what you bring to the table is what is most important."

(Source: Twitter/@INCIndia)

We have to look at agriculture in connection with other aspects of economy

The Congress chief is taking questions from students now. On asked about agriculture, he says, "Agriculture is linked with several things in the country. Its impact goes way beyond the farm. The vision that we can separate these things -- industry, technology for instance -- does not work. The fastest growth in India came in the rural areas. In the UPA period, the growth was in the rural areas because of MNREGA and loan waiver fired off the economy. When this happened, it triggered other aspects of the economy. We have to view this is a connected way.

(Source: Twitter/@INCIndia)

'2019 is an ideological battle'

In 2019, Rahul Gandhi adds, "I see this as an ideological battle. we will not ally with anyone ideologically on our platform."

RG on the opportunities for the Congress

Gandhi says the party needs to bring in the millions of youth who buy the Congress idea and deliver to them an organisation that can work and can empower them to transform India. "To me, the Congress is yours. Gandhiji used to use the word 'trusteeship'," Gandhi says. 

RG on 2019 Lok Sabha elections

"The next election is going to be pretty straightforward — BJP on one side and the entire Opposition on the other side," says Rahul Gandhi. "We need to defend Indian institutions, the idea of one man one vote. It will be clear-cut election where everyone will be on one side and the RSS-BJP will be on the other side." The Congress president is addressing students at the London School of Economics.

Rahul Gandhi on agriculture sector: 'It is our duty to protect the farmer'

On agriculture, Gandhi says it is our duty to help and protect the farmer. He adds that the average Indian farmer doesn't make enough money to survive, which is an economic problem. It requires MSP, a sensitive touch when there's a calamity and sometimes loan waivers to help the farmer. In terms of productivity, we need to look at how to change habits, introduce technology, he adds.

There's a full-blown job crisis: Rahul Gandhi

The central problem we are faced with, and the US and Europe is faced with this as well, is that of jobs. Youth are coming to the cities looking for jobs, but we are not able to provide that. In China, 50,000 jobs are created every 24 hours, while in India the number is only 450. That's a catastrophe, says Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul says I like to reach out to communities, especially weaker sections

Rahul Gandhi says he has been himself through a certain degree of violence. I understand how violence works and how violence is destructive. That experiemce made me compassionate and that is why I reach out to peple," he said.

Rahul Gandhi reaches LSE, to speak shortly

Congress President Rahul Gandhi is at London School of Economics to inaugurate India Perspective. He will speak shortly. The Congress Chief is in UK for a couople for days. Earlier in the day. Gandhi addressed a gathering at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London.