Bhubaneswar: Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who has been attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi on various issues, said on Friday that he doesn’t “hate“ him but only had difference of views.
Gandhi, who had hugged the Prime Minister in the Lok Sabha last year, said he feels like giving Modi a “hug whenever he abuses me”,
He said he will fight Modi and try to ensure that he does not become the Prime Minister again after the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“We don’t want a bureaucratic dictatorship. We want people’s democratic state,” Gandhi said while addressing a town hall meeting here.
Attacking the BJP and the RSS, Gandhi said the “abuses” he received from these organisations was the “best thing” that had happened to him as a politician and a human being.
“I realise PM Modi disagrees with me and I disagree with him. I will fight him and I will try and make sure that he is not the prime minister but I don’t hate him. I give him the right to have his opinion,” he said while addressing ‘The Odisha Dialogue’ event in Odisha.
Gandhi has been singularly attacking Modi over various issues like Rafale fighter deal, demonetisation, GST, farmers’ crisis. Yesterday, he even described Modi as “a symbol of hatred”.
The Congress President said that unlike the BJP, the Congress party has a dynamic process which allows it to listen to the people.
“I am sorry to say that the Congress, of course, has a chaotic conversation. We allow our leaders to talk to each other. Sometimes, we even have disagreements. Believe me, Mr. Modi’s entire cabinet is disagreeing with him but none of them has the guts to open his mouth,” he said.
“Ours is a dynamic process, we listen to the people. Not like Mr Narendra Modi who thinks he knows everything. There is no scope for feedback. This is the basic difference between us and the BJP,” Gandhi said.
He said India should be run by its 1.2 billion people but “RSS wants to penetrate into all other institutions and control them. One set of people; one ideology should not run the country and that is the broad direction in which he would push.”
He went on to add, “We have to do a lot of repair work because what has been done over the last five years is actually devastating to the country. For the first time in history, the Supreme Court judges came out and said they are not allowed to do our work. And this has never happened in Indian history. You can see the imprint of RSS.”
While targeting the Modi government, Gandhi said while there was a talk about high economic growth rate, nobody was talking about jobs.
“Today, if you listen to the conversation in India and read newspapers, the main thing people talk about is growth. If we have 9 percent growth, we are doing well, if we are having 7 percent, we are not doing so well and if we are having 6 percent growth, we have a real problem. Nobody talks about jobs. You can grow at 9 percent and still don’t have jobs,” he said.
While emphasizing the need for decentralization power, he said there is a connection between Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“Modi has leverage over Patnaik due to corruption cases, and Patnaik tacitly supports Modi,” Gandhi claimed and added, “Patnaik is autocratic, but he is not as hate-filled as Modi.”
Targeting Modi-led government over economic issues, he said whatever that has been done in the last five years is a massacre of small and medium business.
“Over 12.5 lakh crores of India’s banking money is in the hands of 30-40 businessmen. If you’re a small businessman or a middle-sized business, you’ve to deal with Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetization and you are not forgiven loans. But, Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi can run away with Rs. 9,000 crores and Rs. 30,000 crores respectively. Not a word is said against them,” he stated.
While talking about India’s job crisis, he said, “We have to compete with China. We have to accept that the single biggest challenge is China’s ability to produce jobs after jobs. Modi ji talks about ‘Make in India’, but India is far behind China in the creation of jobs. India does have a job crisis and there is no question about it.”
A large part of our education is not job-oriented, the Congress chief added.
He said, “Why is automation not having an impact on job creation in China? When I went to Kailash Mansarovar, I met a couple of their ministers who said job creation is not a problem. The real issue is if you are producing things and are in technology stream then you don’t have a problem.”
He said agriculture is the backbone of every country and transformation of the agricultural system is needed.
“A farm loan waiver here and there won’t do. Rethinking on how an Indian farmer connects to the rest of the world is the need of the hour,” he said.