Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a no-holds-barred attack on the BJP saying he was not scared or intimidated by the saffron party’s tactics of taking away his MP “tag” or his official residence as the more the ruling dispensation attacks him, the more he knows he is on the right path.
The Gandhi scion lashed out at the BJP over the “attacks” on him, saying that he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha as “the government was very uncomfortable” with the “simple questions” he had asked regarding businessman Gautam Adani and his alleged relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Gandhi, who arrived in Kalpetta area of this border district of Kerala for the first time after his disqualification as the MP from Wayanad, said the Congress was not scared by the “intimidation, aggression and nastiness” of the BJP, but rather found it “amusing”.
“It is a fight between two visions of India. The BJP represents one vision and we represent another and we (Congress) are not scared of your (BJP) intimidation, your aggression, your nastiness. In fact, we find it quite amusing,” the Gandhi scion said at a roadshow organised by UDF.
His arrival, along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in Kalpetta received a rousing welcome from thousands of people, including UDF leaders, workers and supporters, who thronged the roadside along the route taken by him, atop a truck, to the venue of the roadshow called ‘Satyameva Jayate’.
Speaking at the venue before a crowd where thousands were gathered, Gandhi said a Member of Parliament was just a “tag” or a post and taking that away from him will not scare or intimidate him nor would it stop him from representing the people of Wayanad.
“Member of Parliament is a tag. It is a post. So, the BJP can take away the tag, the post, the house and they can even jail me, but they cannot stop me from representing the people of Wayanad.
“I am surprised that even after so many years, the BJP has not understood its opponent. They do not understand that their opponent will not get intimidated. They think I will get scared by sending police to my house or that I will be disturbed if my house is taken away,” he said.
It will also not stop him from asking questions or raising issues of the people of Wayanad and India, he said.
Regarding the central government order asking him to vacate his official residence, Gandhi said his sister, who spoke before him at the event, did not mention that “I was actually happy they took away my house” as he was not interested in staying there.
The Congress leader said he learned from the people of Wayanad, hundreds of whom lost their homes in floods in the state, that “take away my home 50 times, I will continue to raise the issues of the public of Wayanad and India”.
Gandhi said he knows that what he is doing is right and that he is on the correct path because of the 24-hour long attacks on him by the BJP.
“I have to tell you how I know what I am doing is correct. I know that if the BJP is taking away my house, disqualifying me from Parliament, attacking me 24 hours, I am doing the right thing. The more they attack me, the more I know that this is exactly the path on which I have to walk,” he said, adding that he would not stop, “no matter what happens”.
The reason for the attacks on him by the BJP was because he asked some “simple questions” in Parliament about the relationship between PM Modi and Adani.
“After all, what did I do? I went to Parliament and asked the Prime Minister some questions about a businessman. I just asked him — Mr Narendra Modi, please explain your relationship with Mr Gautam Adani.
“I kept asking that simple question. In my speech in Parliament, I used media reports to show that Adani, who was 609th in the list of wealthiest people in the world, became number 2. I gave examples of how the Prime Minister himself facilitated this growth,” Gandhi said.
The former Congress president alleged that he showed how the defence relationship between Israel and India was transformed, rules of Indian airports were changed and Indian foreign policy was used — all to help Adani.
“I asked a simple question on the relationship the PM has with Adani. The PM has not answered this question so far and for the first time, you saw how the government itself was not letting the Parliament run,” he contended.
Gandhi further alleged that BJP ministers lied about him in Parliament, but he was not allowed to respond to the same as permitted under the rules.
When he wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker regarding the same and seeking his permission to speak in the House in response to the allegations, Speaker Om Birla said he had no choice, Gandhi claimed.
“So the entire Parliament house was shut, I was not allowed to reply and then at the end of it, because the government was very uncomfortable about the type of questions I asked and about the issues I raised, I was removed from the Parliament.
“Doesn’t matter. This (disqualification) is the biggest gift they could have given me,” he said.
He assured the people of Wayanad that his disqualification does not mean that his relationship with the people there, irrespective of whether they support Kerala’s ruling LDF or state opposition UDF, would change.
It will not put on hold the various projects, like use of roads at night, or dampen issues like the buffer zone in the district, he said.
“Even if I am not an MP, I will make sure these things happen in Wayanad,” he said.
“In the end, I would like to repeat that my disqualification does not mean anything as far as my relationship with you (people of Wayanad) is concerned. I promise you this disqualification will only deepen my relationship with you,” he said at the conclusion of his speech.
Later in a Facebook post, Gandhi said he was “humbled” by the love and affection of the people of Wayanad and that their support has given him the strength to take on the BJP and the RSS “who are hell-bent on undermining the democratic values of our beloved motherland”.
“They work to further the vested interests of a few. We fight to protect the interests of crores of our brothers and sisters across India,” he said in his post.
Gandhi was disqualified as the MP from Wayanad last month after being convicted and sentenced in a criminal defamation case.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)