Rahul Gandhi slams BJP; says 'India of Hindus, not Hindutvavadis'
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi sharpened his attack at the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Jaipur rally Sunday. Gandhi said India was a country of Hindus, not Hindutvavadis. He accused the BJP of being solely interested in grabbing power instead of developing India. His sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, also addressed the event, which was attended by their mother, Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Why does this story matter?
Gandhi's remarks came months ahead of key elections in several states next year, notably in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Punjab. The Jaipur rally was called 'Mehngai Hatao Maha Rally' and targeted the BJP for crushing inflation. The rally sets the stage for the Congress' election campaign. Despite its support base dwindling, Congress remains the BJP's top opponent as a national party.
'I'm Hindu; they're Hindutvavadis'
Gandhi said, "The difference between Hindu and Hindutvadi is that Hindu searches for truth, it is called satyagraha but Hindutvadi searches for power (satta) and it is called as sattagraha." Hindutva is an ideology associated with BJP's ideological parent, the right-wing outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. "I'm a Hindu. All these people are Hindus. They are Hindutvavadis," he said. "Those in power are false Hindus."
Gandhi speaks on income inequality
Today, 1% of India's population holds 33% of the national wealth, Gandhi said, referring to the recent World Inequality Report. The top 10% holds 65% of the national wealth while the poorest 50% sits with just 6%, he added.
BJP selling what Congress built: Vadra
Vadra also addressed the rally, accusing the BJP of selling what Congress had created in 70 years. "What have you done in the past seven years?" she asked the BJP government. "The AIIMS, the airport from where your plane flies, the Congress built them." On inflation, she said the government is "working only for its industrialists."
'Congress with people in fighting inflation'
Vadra also urged people to hold the government accountable, saying that Congress stands with people's fight against inflation. "You have come here because your life has become difficult," Vadra said. "Today, one gas cylinder costs Rs. 1,000, mustard oil costs Rs. 200, petrol-diesel prices are sky-high. Your daily lives have become difficult, and nobody listens to you," she added.
Rajasthan CM praises Gandhi
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot praised Rahul Gandhi for being the lone voice of Opposition against the misrule of the Modi government. "The seven years of misrule of the Modi government is before you. If someone has raised voice in the country as the Opposition, it is Rahul Gandhi," Gehlot said. The reverse countdown has started for the BJP, party leader Sachin Pilot said.