The South Asian Times

18 September 2019 15:49 PM

Congress firming up electoral alliances: Rahul


Chennai, March 13: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said his party is firming up electoral alliances across the country to fight the Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to the media here, Gandhi said the Congress had stiched electoral alliances in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Jharkhand and talks in Jammu and Kashmir were in the final stages.

"It is only the BJP that doesn't have an alliance," Gandhi said.

Declaring that the Congress-led United Progress Alliance (UPA) will win the Lok Sabha battle, Gandhi said the new government will investigare the corruption in the purchase of Rafale fighter planes.

Gandhi said the Rafale plane's capability was not being questioned and thanked The Hindu newspaper for "exposing" Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parallel negotiations in the Rafale deal.

Economic growth, he said, was related to the country's mood and it cannot happen when there were inter-state fights.

"We will bring harmony in the country so that everyone, including Tamils, feels that India is for everybody," Gandhi said.

Disagreeing with the view that the BJP had gained an edge in the electoral contest after the air strike on terror camps in Pakistan, Gandhi said: "Pakistan will take the opportunities that are available."

He said the question to be asked is what did the government do to prevent the suicide bombing in Pulwama that killed 40 CRPF troopers and why the then BJP government released Masoor Azad, the architect of the Pulwama attack.

Gandhi said unemployment, plight of farmers and attacks on various institutions.

Terming Modi as a great flop over job creation, Gandhi said India had the highest unemployment levels in 45 years.

Stressing the importance of small and medium enterprises (SME), he said that job creation was under attack due to demonetization, GST and unfriendly departments like Income Tax.

According to him, the plight of farmers will be the second major electoral issue.

The third issue is the attack on various institutions, different culture and languages, by the Modi government, he said.

"The basic idea of BJP is to capture every single institution and run it out of Nagpur, where RSS is headquartered," he said.

According to him, Vice Chancellors of Universities were appointed who are oriented towards a particular ideology.

Terming the Tamil Nadu government as being remote controlled by the Prime Minister's Office, Gandhi said Tamil people should run their own government.

"There is a feeling of assault on Tamil language and culture. This feeling should be removed."

He said that if voted to power, the UPA would create a dedicated Ministry for fisheries and the Cauvery river water dispute with Karnataka would be settled.

Queried about his stance on the release of seven persons sentenced for life term in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, he said: "There are two issues involved - personal and legal. The legal issue will take its own course.

"We are a forgiving people. We don't have animosity towards anybody. It is for the court to decide," he added.


Update: 13 March, 2019