Escalating his attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party, newly-elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that the entire architecture, structure and foundation of the ruling party was based on ‘lies’ and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Gujarat model' was ‘flawed and fake’.
He was speaking after chairing the first meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the party, as the Congress chief, with his mother Sonia Gandhi seated next to him, along with former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other senior members.
Sources said the issue of indiscipline in the party, with leaders giving out-of-turn statements that hurt the party's prospects in the recent assembly elections, were also raised at the meeting, besides the need to strengthen the organisational structure.
Rahul, who had launched a relentless onslaught against Modi during the Gujarat polls, continued in the same vein as he termed the 'Gujarat model' a ‘lie’.
He alleged that people of the state say it is a ‘flawed and fake’ model where there is ‘stealing’ of resources which are handed over to a ‘few vested interests’.
“The whole architecture of the BJP is about lies, their whole structure is about lies...BJP's entire foundation is based on lies.
"If you see the Modi model in Gujarat, it was a lie, clearly. When we went to Gujarat and we spoke to the people of Gujarat, they said there is no model. What is going on is the stealing of resources of the people of Gujarat and that's their design," he told reporters after the meeting.
Gandhi alleged that whether it was putting Rs 15 lakh in every bank accounts, the 2G spectrum allocation issue, or the Modi model, ‘one by one the lies are coming out’.
In his inaugural speech, he said he was surprised to see that it is universally understood by people of Gujarat that ‘this is a flawed, fake model’.
"The main expression was that he (Modi) has handed over Gujarat to a few vested interests and he has taken tremendous benefits from Gujarat but Gujarat hasn’t received anything in return," he said.
On the 2G verdict, he said, "I think 2G has been a vindication (of our party's stand)...Everyone knows about 2G and the truth has come before all of you."
Addressing the CWC, he said the BJP used the 2G issue as the biggest instrument against the UPA government which has ‘turned out to be fake’.
"So the idea, their model, is to come up with a lie, spread that lie, and just keep repeating that lie until people believe the lie. And the good news that I can see is that people are now beginning to question it.
"Across the country, they are questioning Mr Modi on the economy, they’re questioning Mr Modi when he insults our ex-prime minister. So that feeling is coming up and there is a positive sentiment towards the Congress party," he told the CWC.
Gandhi said there is a lot of opportunity for the Congress ‘that we need to step into and take advantage of’.
He also questioned the ‘silence’ of the prime minister on the changes made in the Rafale deal to allegedly help a businessman and the charges of financial irregularities of a firm linked to BJP chief Amit Shah's son Jay.
"It was disappointing that we lost but it was pleasing to see the Congress party fight hatred and anger with respect, love and courage. I send my good wishes to people of both states," he said.
He termed the Gujarat campaign as ‘unique’ and ‘a real eye-opener’ for him, where he got to know how the BJP designs campaigns and ‘uses hatred and untruth’ to fight elections.
"One of the successes that the Congress party can take credit for in Gujarat is the dismantling of the Modi model of development. I was surprised when I went to Gujarat," he said.
Towards the end of the campaign, Gandhi alleged that the BJP attempted to polarise the election.
"At every step, they were trying to polarise. Our party played a very positive role in keeping everybody together. And then we also saw how in their desperation, the prime minister himself accused Dr Manmohan Singh of complete blatant falsehood and a lie. And he has had nothing to say about that since then," he said.
Later addressing the media, Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the CWC also discussed the current political situation and how the BJP ‘concocted the conspiracy’ against the Congress in the 2G issue.
"How Prime Minister Modi, Arun Jaitley and the BJP stands exposed today with the 2G verdict by special CBI Court.
"The BJP maligned the country and the Congress party for years together making false allegations of corruption as their principal strategy to gain power.
"The BJP, particularly Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and their stooge, Vinod Rai created a 'fallacious web of allegations of corruption'. The truth is, however, out in the open that the BJP made a profession out of its conspiracy of lies and falsehoods to gain power at any cost.
"Narendra Modi, Shri Arun Jaitley and the BJP leadership should come forward to own up their sinister maligning machinations and apologise to the nation," he said.
The CWC meeting was attended by top party leaders like Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Karan Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Kamal Nath, BK Hari Prasad, CP Joshi, Motilal Vora, Mohsina Kidwai, Mallikarjun Kharge and others, besides state in-charges.
The CWC also passed a resolution lauding the contribution of Sonia Gandhi in leading and guiding the party to great heights during her 19 years of presidentship.
Without naming anyone, some leaders raised the issue of enforcing discipline in the party and action against errant leaders, to which Rahul Gandhi agreed, the sources said.
"I agree. We will ensure discipline is enforced and the party is strengthened," Gandhi reportedly told the meeting.
Former prime minister Singh raised the issue of the challenges ahead for the party.
"The Working Committee was unanimous in saying that the momentum gained from the current set of elections would only be enhanced so that in the next set of elections Congress emerges victorious," Surjewala said.
IMAGES: Congress president Rahul Gandhi, his mother and former president Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh and other senior party leaders during the CWC meeting at the All India Congress Committee in New Delhi on Friday. Photographs: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo