Possibility of India’s division increased due to PM Modi’s policies: Jairam Ramesh

Jaipur: Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Monday charged that the possibility of India’s division has increased due to his policies and that “political dictatorship” is becoming a reality.

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Ramesh made these comments at a press conference on the sidelines of the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

“There are three challenges before the country which need to be fought. The possibility of division of India has increased due to the intention and policies of the prime minister. Economic disparity is rising and divisive ideology are the two other challenges,” he told reporters at Bali Borda village of Jhalawar district.

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The former Union minister alleged, “Political dictatorship is becoming a reality, which has resulted in One Nation-One Man. One individual is being given all political rights…Constitution is being ignored and constitutional bodies are being weakened.”

Ramesh said the Bharat Jodo Yatra was planned to raise various issues facing the people.

The yatra entered Rajasthan on Sunday. It started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and has so far covered the five southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana, and then traversed through Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

It will conclude in Jammu and Kashmir in early February next year, covering 3,570 km in 150 days.

Ramesh said the yatra is not for winning elections and it is expected that it will activate and strengthen the party organisation.

“We may get the benefit of the yatra in the election. I feel that the yatra will not make a major difference in the election (outcome). But, it will make a difference if we take serious follow-up actions,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said that in politics there are several other things than elections. He said that ideology has its place in politics. Elections will be won and lost but it is important to fight ideological battles, he said.

He said the Congress had lagged in giving priority to ideological battle and gave priority to election in the past 35-40 years.

On the BJP accusing the Congress of dividing India, he said the BJP doesn’t deserve to raise such allegations as those who follow the ideology never played a role in the freedom struggle and in the making of the Constitution.

He said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has a divisive ideology and the BJP is expert in giving slogans, event management.

“Our republic’s basic principle is unity in diversity and BJY (yatra) not only believes in unity in diversity but also unity in plurality. If you suppress plurality then unity will be in danger,” he said.

He further said, “BJP wants uniformity and we want unity. This is the basic difference between BJP-RSS and Congress. We have not divided (India) but we have divided Pakistan in 1971.”

Ramesh said the Congress party will start the Hath-Se-Hath Jodo’ campaign from January 26 to March 26. It will be a three-level campaign in which yatras will be taken out from booth, block, district and state levels.

He said that several organisations have joined the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Many of these organisations had taken part in the movement led by Anna Hazare in 2012, but they have now realised that there is no other option than the Congress.

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