Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, who was on a day’s visit to poll-mode Madhya Pradesh, commented on the international scene by placing Pakistan in the crosshairs and also rained fire on the saffron party while endeavouring to strike an emotional chord by referring to the “struggles” of his late father whom he described as his hero.
Accusing India’s western neighbour of attempting to foment communal violence in the country, the Gandhi scion alleged that Pakistan’s intelligence agency spoke to 10-15 boys — of a minority community — whose siblings were killed in the Muzaffarnagar disturbances.
“This was disclosed to me by an intelligence official who said that he urged the boys not to pay heed to what was being said to them by the agency,” he said — sans naming the Inter Services Intelligence — while addressing the Congress’ Satta Parivartan (Change of Guard) Rally in Indore.
The Amethi parliamentarian, who visited Muzaffarnagar in the wake of the violence, said persons owing allegiance to different faiths told him that there was no enmity among them but “ladai karwai gayi hai, aag lagai gayi hai” (the disturbances were created and the fire ignited on purpose).
“The BJP believes that India’s denizens should be made to feud among themselves so that it can derive electoral gains. It does not realise that the country suffers as a consequence,” he said. Mr Gandhi said the BJP speaks of providing infrastructure but the Congress — while ensuring construction of airports, laying of roads and railway lines — would also give power to the poor.
“The process has already commenced through the Right to Information Act and the Land Acquisition Act. When computerisation was introduced, opponents said it will result in unemployment but on the contrary jobs were created,” he said.
“If Indore’s youths want employment then the Madhya Pradesh regime will have to hear their voice. The BJP does not have the capacity to convert Indore into a true commercial capital. Take up a challenge that in ten years’ time Indore will rank among India’s top five cities. For achieving that women and youth should contribute,” Mr Gandhi felt.
“When a person wishes to advance he or she is often stopped. My father also fought that battle. He was 40 when he became the Prime Minister and he was my hero. The system (in Madhya Pradesh) is crushing your brothers and fathers,” he alleged.
Earlier addressing a meeting in Sagar District’s Rahatgarh, Mr Gandhi said the voice of Bundelkhand region’s poor was muffled by the politics of ‘India Shining’.
“The BJP turned a deaf ear to the cries of the poor and farmers while members of every segment appeared distraught. During that period only BJP ministers seemed happy. The BJP is a party of some persons seated in air-conditioned rooms and industrialists,” he said.
Regarding the Bundelkhand Package, Mr Gandhi claimed that funds were dispatched from the Centre but instead of wells being dug leaders’ farmhouses were constructed. “The BJP’s politics is not about taking care of the poor, women, peasants and other categories but about protecting industrialists’ interests,” he alleged.