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Note ban was RSS idea: Rahul in Karnataka

February 13, 2018 22:37 IST

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of trying to 'capture' every institution and charged that National Democratic Alliance ministers were not operating independently as the Sangh Parivar outfit's men were planted in each ministry.

He also said the idea of demonetisation was given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by a 'particular ideologue' of the RSS.

"In every single Ministry in India, at the national level there is an OSD (officer on special duty) from RSS working with the minister...In every ministry in India there is a man from RSS who works with the minister. The minister is not operating on his own," he said.

 

Interacting with professionals and the business community at the end of his four-day campaign in poll-bound Karnataka, he said the ministers were being guided by RSS on what to do.

"The approach is of capture, the approach is here is an institution and let us capture it; as opposed to allowing an institution to serve the people of India and allowing the people of India to capture the institution," Gandhi said.

"This is the fundamental conflict we have with the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Their idea is wherever they go they plant people with their ideology into that organisation," he said.

The Congress' idea is to 'democratise' institutions while BJP believes in 'bureaucratising' the institutions, he said.

Gandhi, who has been highly critical of the note ban,said the demonetisation idea originated from an RSS ideologue who had placed the idea into the prime minister's mind.

"Do you know where the idea of note bandi (note ban) came from?Do you know who gave the idea of note bandi to the prime minister of India? It was not RBI, it was not Arun Jaitley (Union finance minister), it was not an officer in the finance ministry," Gandhi said.

"It was a particular ideologue of the RSS. Now you imagine the RSS places an idea into the Prime Minister's mind and the prime minister launches that idea."

Gandhi said even a child would say it was not a good idea to 'destroy' Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that allowed corrupt to convert their black money into white.But BJP and RSS who think only they know everything were taking such 'disastrous decisions'.

Gandhi, who has been targeting the Modi government on goods and services tax ( and termed it 'Gabbar Singh Tax', said if his party was voted to power at the Centre, it would reform the current GST and simplify it by trying to make it a single-slab tax and cap it at a 'decent' level.

He said that a 'huge amount' of confusion related to the GST would also be removed.

The Congress president also accused the NDA government of creating a 'problem' in India's foreign policy and said the country stood 'isolated' in the region.

Underlining China's expanding influence, Gandhi said the most important part of a country's foreign policy was having a 'good relationship' with others.

"Today India is actually isolated in the region," he told professionals and business people in Kalaburagi.

India should work for creating as many jobs as there are in China, he said, adding that New Delhi must find a peaceful and not aggressive way to counter Beijing.

"We have to find a way, not an aggressive way, not a military way, but a peaceful way to compete with the Chinese," he said.

Gandhi referred to the 'massive expansion' of Chinese presence in the region.

"You see the Chinese have a presence in Nepal, they have a presence in Pakistan, in Sri Lanka, in Maldives... They have a presence in Burma (Myanmar)," Gandhi added.

He said the NDA government had created a 'problem' in India's foreign policy.

India's 'old friend Russia' was now 'cosying up to our neighbours on the western side', he said, adding, "This is actually a serious problem which is not getting discussed."

Hitting out at the Union government on employment generation, Gandhi claimed that while China was creating 50,000 jobs in 24 hours, the NDA government was generating 450 jobs in 24 hours.

"The simple thing is, there is only one measure, not two: how many jobs is India creating and how many jobs is China creating. I'm sad to say that over the last four years it (job creation) has become a really serious problem," he added.

On economic growth, he said India was 'doing okay, (but) it was doing much better before'.

The issue of jobs, he said, was not being publicly discussed.

"When it comes to jobs, India is failing completely and this is not something that is publicly in the discourse at all," he added.

Gandhi, however, conceded that to an extent even during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance rule, 'we were nowhere near the number of jobs that needed to be created'.

He also spoke about the 'massive increase' in the defence budgets of the United States, China and Russia, and said, "We are now entering a new phase in world politics where you are going to see increased tension between U.S., China and Russians."

"In this situation, India has to have a clear understanding of the path going forward," he said.

As he wrapped up his 'Janarshirvad Yatra' in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, Gandhi told reporters that there was a 'good atmosphere' for his party in the state.

The Hyderabad-Karnataka region comprises the districts of Bidar, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Ballari and Kalaburagi, which formed part of the Nizam ruled Hyderabad state till 1948.

"It was a good visit. I have met lakhs of people, had good interactions. There is a good atmosphere for Congress party," he said.

The ruling Congress is seeking to retain power in Karnataka, where Assembly polls are due early this year, while the BJP is eyeing to wrest from it the only southern state the saffron party has ever ruled.

The Congress had unseated BJP in Karnataka in 2013.

Gandhi also visited 'Anubhava Mantapa' at Basavakalyan in Bidar district,akin to Parliament,started by 12 century social reformer Basavanna, whose followers Lingayats/Veerashaivas,who form the majority community in Karnataka.

Earlier, when asked about questions being raised on his temple visits and BJP calling him 'election Hindu', the Congress leader said "I don't know. You have to ask them, you have to ask BJP."

IMAGE: Congress president Rahul Gandhi interacts with the saints at Anubhava Mantapa in Basavakalyan during his four-day Janashirvad Yatra, ahead of Karnataka assembly elections in Bidar on Tuesday. Photograph: PTI Photo

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