Rahul Gandhi on Friday blamed the BJP for the Darbha attack that killed the then Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel,a tragedy that he said was a massive setback to the party.
Speaking in Rajnandgaon,the seat of another Darbha victim Uday Mudaliyar,Rahul repeatedly invoked Patels memory and indicated that he had died as a consequence of a conspiracy.
Nand Kumar Patelji was about to become the chief minister. I knew it. I knew him well. I had spoken to him. No one could have stopped him. There was no way to stop him. Unhein rokne ka sirf ek hi tarika tha unhein maar daalna. He was killed, Rahul said.
He emphasised: He was killed. The voice of the people and tribals echoed in his heart. But not only he,you (the public) too were killed that day.
Rahul said Patel was a janata ka aadmi (peoples man) who had visited him before going on a tour to reclaim Bastar politically for the Congress. Patelji came to me and said Main janata ke beech ja rahaa hoon. He was a grounded man. He knew your problems. I advised him,Thoda dhyaan se kaam lijiye. Chhattisgarh has Maoists. He said,I am a peoples man,and I am going to the people. Look what they did to the peoples man… Killed him, Rahul said.
Patel had been close to 10 Janpath,and the Congress leadership considered him among the best PCC chiefs. Rahul told Friday’s rally: The Darbha attack was not on the Congress. Patelji,Uday Mudaliyarji were your leaders. The attack was on the voice of the people.
And the responsibility for failing to ensure their security lay with the Raman Singh government: Some months ago,the entire Congress leadership was killed here. Shame. Shame. They say they are against terror,but here our entire leadership was killed. Koi karyavahi hui? Kuchh natija nikla? Kuch nahin.
When CRPF personnel are killed,they say dont make it a political issue. When our leadership is killed,they say its not our fault.
Mudaliyars wife Alka is now the Congress candidate against Chief Minister Raman Singh. The Congress had asked Singh to contest from elsewhere as a mark of respect to the Darbha victim,but the chief minister did not oblige.
Rahul said the BJP was bhrashtachaar mein world champion.
The chief secretary here said a minister is corrupt. Is it possible anywhere? They are champions in corruption,world champions.
He spoke of the RTI Act: What is RTI? Any Indian can ask anything about the government ki woh chhupe hue kamre mein kya kar rahein hain. RTI is the strongest weapon against corruption.
Chhattisgarh,he said,has no shortage of funds,forests or land. Its a rich state,but the people are poor. Is this development?
People from Chhhattisgarh go to Bangalore and Mumbai to work,where there are Congress governments,Rahul said. If our government is formed,we will give you jobs here,and you will not have to migrate.
Referring to alleged fraudulent land dealings in Chhattisgarh,Rahul said 6 lakh acres were snatched from the poor and given to industrialists without proper compensation. This jal,jangal,zameen is yours. Whatever the BJP has snatched from you,the Congress will return. If anything is to be given to industrialists,it will be given with your consent.
In reply to poll panel,says entitled to talk ideology
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday told the Election Commission that he had not violated provisions of the model code of conduct in accusing the main opposition BJP of making the Hindus and Muslims fight,arguing he was entitled to talk about his partys ideology and that of its political opponents.
Justifying his remarks,Rahul is learnt to have conveyed to the Election Commission in his reply to its notice that political leaders are entitled to take on their opponents in a democracy and urged the poll panel not to proceed against him. The commission,sources said,discussed his reply in its meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath but is yet to take a decision on it.
The reply has come. It is under examination. A decision will be taken as soon as possible, Sampath said.
Sources said in his reply Rahul has also spoken about the inclusive ideology of the Congress and communal politics to back his argument that he was talking about the Congress ideology.
The EC had in its notice to Rahul on October 31 said that it was prima facie of the view that his speeches at Churu in Rajasthan and Indore in Madhya Pradesh were violative of the model code of conduct for political parties and candidates. It had asked him to explain why action should not be initiated against him.
In his Churu speech,Rahul had accused the BJP of make Hindus and Muslims fight and indulging in divisive politics. What do they do. They go to Muzaffarnagar and light the fire. They lit the fire in Gujarat,in UP,in Kashmir and then you people and we have to stamp out the fire, he had said. In Indore,he had repeated the same allegations and then went on to make the controversial claim that Pakistans ISI had approached Muslim youth who had lost family members in the Muzaffarnagar riots.
On the basis of the BJPs complaint that Rahul had violated the code by accusing the party,without any basis,of inciting communal riots,the commission sent a notice to him.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines