Would fight Gujarat assembly polls with full force: Rahul Gandhi
Launching the Congress Party's campaign ahead of the Gujarat state assembly elections, Congress vice-President Rahul Gandhi vowed to defeat the BJP. Gandhi made the statement while addressing a public rally in the Narmada district, on the foundation day of the state of Gujarat. He further criticized the BJP government's decisions including demonetization and slammed them for not delivering on their pre-poll promises.
Why is this significant?
Once a national party, Congress influence has been waning over time. BJP's splendid victory in the recent state assembly polls has confined Congress influence to a few states like Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Gujarat holds significance as PM Modi's home state and as a BJP stronghold. A potential electoral victory for Congress holds enormous symbolic value, asserting the Congress Party's ability to revive itself.
What did Gandhi promise?
Gandhi noted, the Congress government does not believe in telling its own "Mann ki Baat" and would listen to the people instead and work accordingly. He further promised, if the Congress wins, "the working style of our government will make you realize that it is the collective effort of all the people which can change Gujarat, not just one person".
What does Gandhi think of 3 years of BJP rule?
Gandhi noted that the BJP was good at coining slogans including 'Make in India' and 'India shining', while making no efforts to change the ground situation in places including Gujarat. Slamming demonetization, he noted that, the exercise demonstrated the PM's power to make the entire country stand in queues. He also criticized the 'Vibrant Gujarat Summit' stating it benefited merely 10-15 people in power.
Rahul Gandhi accuses BJP of exclusionary rule
Rahul alleged that the benefits of education and employment schemes have not reached deprived sections of population including the Patidars who backed Modi prior to his election. He added that the education system is run by a select few allies of Modi and the BJP who benefit from capitation fees. He further accused Modi of "snatching the rights of poor people and tribals".
Looking for substance in Rahul Gandhi's point of view
Three years of BJP rule has seemingly made no difference to abysmal socio-economic indicators and has contributed to marginalization of communities including Dalits and Tribals. While the BJP is flying high on the wings of its new found pan-India popularity and is unlikely to lose anytime soon, the expectation-reality gap is likely to catch up with them sooner or later.