In his first speech as party chief, Rahul attacks BJP

Rajat Kain

New Delhi: Congress supporters celebrate Rahul Gandhi's elevation to the post of party president in New Delhi, Dec 16, 2017. PTI

New Delhi: Congress supporters celebrate Rahul Gandhi’s elevation to the post of party president in New Delhi, Dec 16, 2017.
PTI

It was the ruling party – BJP– which figured the most in Rahul Gandhi’s first speech as the president of Congress party. Addressing his party leaders and workers, Gandhi launched swift attack on the BJP and in particular Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two have had a long autumn in campaign heat that only got intense with change in the winds. And it will be the results of these two states – Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, which will stitch a narrative of his tenure early up — in press, in public and in politics.

Accusing the BJP of “spreading hatred”, he criticised Prime Minister Modi. Incidentally, his attack for Modi came just days after he had vowed to hold respect for the high office of that of Prime Minister.

“The Congress took India into 21st century, while the prime minister today is taking us backwards to medieval past when people are butchered because of who they are, beaten for what they believe and killed for what they eat,” he alleged.

Bengaluru: Members of Youth Congress celebrate after Rahul Gandhi takes over as new Congress president, in Bengaluru, Dec 16, 2017. PTI

Bengaluru: Members of Youth Congress celebrate after Rahul Gandhi takes over as new Congress president, in Bengaluru, Dec 16, 2017.
PTI

But that is perhaps his way of going about to stir up his party, battling to stay in the contention in the vastly changing electoral map of the country, where Congress now rules just Punjab, Karnataka, Meghalaya and Mizoram. The last three states are slated to go to polls in months from now.

“BJP is fighting for itself, while the Congress is fighting for everyone in the country,” he said invoking past legacy of his party and its years in office.

Once again taking of the Congress party as an umbrella of pan-Indian representation, Rahul Gandhi urged his cadres to raise an organisation that will be an instrument of dialogue with people from all corners of the country, “all religions, all ethnicities, all ages and gender and for our dialogue to be led by love and affection”.

“Politics was being used today to crush the people and not lift them up,” was among his early words addressing the gathering at AICC headquarters,

In another of his quick remarks aimed at attracting a significant political constituency, perceived to have moved away from the Congress, Gandhi said “it is stated that the Congress is a grand old party, we will make it a grand old and young party… we will fight all hatred with love.”