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'Country may burn, but Modi interested only in becoming PM again'

Last updated on: April 24, 2018 00:14 IST

The Congress president said that if he was allowed to speak for 15 minutes on a host of issues, including the Nirav Modi scam, PM Modi would "run away". 

IMAGE: Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses at the launch of the partys nationwide Save the Constitution campaign at Talkatora Stadium. Photograph: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo

In a no-holds-barred attack, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying while the country may burn, Dalits may die and women may be raped, the only question that troubled Modi was how to become the prime minister again.

The twin burning issues of Dalit rights and women’s safety were at the centre of Gandhi’s all-out attack on Modi at the launch of the Congress party’s 'Save the Constitution' campaign, as he asserted that constitutional values had been endangered under the Modi government and assured the people that his party would not let that happen.


Institutions such as the Supreme Court were being trampled on and Parliament had been shut down by the government, he alleged, claiming that if he was allowed to speak for 15 minutes on a host of issues, including the Nirav Modi scam, Modi would 'run away'.

'This country belongs to each and every one of us. It is the duty of the Congress party to protect the Constitution, the institutions and every single one of our citizens,' he later tweeted.

Gandhi said while Modi often claimed that India’s global standing had improved under his government, the image of the country built over decades of Congress rule had 'in fact taken a beating' in the last four years.

Going full throttle, he alleged that institutions were being packed with people who believed in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s ideology.

IMAGE: Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to Dr B R Ambedkar at the launch of the party's nationwide Save the Constitution campaign. Photograph: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo

Gandhi started his address to Congress workers at the Talkatora Stadium, where the party’s year-long programme was launched, by quoting from what he described as a statement by the prime minister.

Modi saw spirituality in the sanitation work done by the Valmiki community, he said, adding, that this was the “mindset” of the prime minister.

But people know there was no place for Dalits, weaker sections of society and women in his heart, Gandhi added.

“The entire country understands that our prime minister is interested in only one thing. Modi ji has an interest in only Modi ji. How does Narendra Modi ji become the prime minister (again)? This is the only question whose answers Modi ji wants,” Gandhi said.

“May Dalits die, atrocities are inflicted on minorities, may the country burn, may women be raped, Narendra Modi is interested in only becoming the prime minister (again). He is interested in doing only those things which will make him prime minister (again),” he added.

Attacking the prime minister on employment and other promises made by him before the last Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi said Modi would now come up with new promises for votes.

Modi’s earlier slogan of ‘Beti Bechao, Beti Padhao’ (Save daughters, educate them) had become ‘Beti bachao’ (Save daughters) from the Bharatiya Janata Party and its leaders, Gandhi said in a reference to the alleged involvement of a BJP MLA in a rape case in Unnao.

Referring to International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde’s recent appeal to Modi to pay more attention to women’s safety, Gandhi said it was for the first time that an Indian prime minister had been addressed like this.

“You look at the 70 year track record, be it Jawaharlal Nehru, PV Narasimha Rao ji, Vajpayee ji, Gowda ji, take any of India’s former Prime one has talked to any of our prime ministers like this in 70 years,” the Congress chief said.

IMAGE: Rahul Gandhi getures while exchanging greetings with party leaders . Photograph: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo

Latching on to reports that Modi had urged BJP MPs not to give “spice” (information) to media persons, Gandhi said, in a reference to Modi’s monthly radio programme, that the prime minister wants the country to listen only to his “Mann ki baat”.

The media, he added, will speak up in the next two or three months.

“The Congress gave India its Constitution... and protected it. It created institutions. The people of the BJP and RSS will not be able to touch the Constitution, we will not let it happen. People of the country will tell Modi ji its mann ki baat in the next elections,” he added.

He asserted that only the Congress was capable of addressing problems that faced the nation, such as giving employment to the youth and protecting women. The Congress would save Dalits, minorities and women wherever they were “attacked” by the BJP, he said

“You will see Congress flag protecting people there,” he added.

The Congress MP also observed that India was known across the world as a country where people co-existed speaking different languages and following different ideologies.

That image had received a “big jolt” under the Modi government over the past four years, he claimed.

“We need to protect it (India’s image),” he added.

He also suggested that there was a difference between the Congress and the BJP governments when it came to protecting members of the media.

“You won’t be able to ask a question like you asked me. That’s the difference between them and us,” he added.

Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Ashok Gehlot, Sheila Dikshit and Congress’s SC department chairman Nitin Raut were present at the launch of the campaign which will culminate on B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary next year. 

Save the Constitution is Congress’s campaign to save dynasty: Shah

Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said the ‘Save the Constitution’ campaign launched by the Congress chief is an exercise to save the dynasty and that the opposition party’s “Modi hatred” has turned into “India hatred”.

In a statement soon after Gandhi launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah said if there is one political party that has trampled over the Constitution in letter and spirit, time and again, it is the opposition party.      

He made a mention of the Congress’s move to impeach the Chief Justice of India and said it is part of a trend to demonise and weaken every institution that seeks to maintain its individual identity and does not “kowtow to the dynasty”, a reference to the Gandhi family.  

The BJP chief also cited the Congress’s alleged attack on the CAG, Election Commission, the Army and the Supreme Court at different points of time and its imposition of the Emergency in 1975 to hit back.

“Those who do not trust the army, the judiciary, the Supreme Court, the Election Commission, EVMs, the RBI are now saying democracy is in danger. India has a vibrant democracy and a vibrant Constitution.  

“The Congress’s  ‘Save the Constitution’ campaign is nothing but a farce that seeks to perpetuate the rule of dynasty over the rule of democracy. Like in the past, we need to protect the Constitution from the Congress,” Shah said.

When Gandhi says the Congress made the Constitution, he is continuing his family legacy of humiliating Bhimrao Ambedkar, Shah said.           

“By repeatedly saying the Congress made the Constitution, Rahul Gandhi is carrying forward his family tradition of insulting Dr Ambedkar. The Nehru-Gandhi family insulted him when he was alive and is humiliating him even more now. Shameful and petty,” the BJP chief said.

-- PTI

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