Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi sternly criticised the ruling BJP and RSS, charging them as openly opposed to the ideology and values of the Constitution. Winding up the two-day national conference to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, Mr. Gandhi on Saturday asserted that Secularism is in the “blood” of Congress party and it will defeat RSS.
“Secularism is in the blood of Congress and it simply cannot be removed…. This is the DNA of our organisation and we just have to reinvigorate that and you will see Congress,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Targeting the BJP and RSS further, the Congress party vice president claimed that there is a “fear” in the country. “Both peace and freedom have been viciously wounded in the country,” he said adding that a heavy sense of fear is spreading.
“We condemn all attacks on freedom of speech and expression, faith and worship, thought and belief,” Mr. Gandhi said referring to the Dadri lynching incident along with the murders of rationalist thinkers.
Paying a glowing tribute to Pandit Nehru, he said that the first Prime Minister was a deeply tolerant man and “to him, India’s tolerance was what made us great. Our tolerance was what we had to offer the rest of the world.”
“This country belongs to everyone. This country belongs to any well-wisher who comes into contact with it. Even a guest who is in India for three days, for that period of time, is an Indian,” Rahul said adding “this negotiating over who India belongs to and on what basis is ugly and dangerous. It demeans us all. And we uniformly reject it.”
Later in the day, Congress President Sonia Gandhi also accused the Narendra Modi government of posing a threat to the Indian ethos of pluralism and trying to wipe out the Nehruvian legacy of tolerance.
“Narendra Modi Government wants to eliminate the name of Jawaharlal Nehru from all memorials so that the Nehru legacy of tolerance vanishes from the country,” Ms Gandhi said at a public meeting at Jageshwar in Uttarakhand.
Further raising the political pitch, the Congress party chief took on PM Modi for making “false” promise of “Acche Din” to the people and claimed that the “masses feel cheated now as they are still waiting for good days”.
(With inputs from the PTI)