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At Ramlila Maidan, Congress leaders urge Rahul to wield the baton again

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Rally saw younger leaders such as Sachin Pilot, Jotiraditya Scindia and Rajiv Satav asking him to be the face of the fight against the Modi government.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s aggressive speech in Bharat Bachao (Save India) rally on Saturday was not the centrepiece but the rally itself seemed like a carefully planned setting for him to make a comeback as Congress president.

From party workers shouting Mr. Gandhi’s name in chorus to having 30-feet tall cutouts spread all over the historic Ramlila Maidan, the rally saw younger leaders such as Sachin Pilot, Jotiraditya Scindia and Rajiv Satav asking him to be the face of the fight against the Modi government.

 

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the party may have lost the Lok Sabha elections but the issues such as economic slowdown, joblessness and alleged corruption in defence deals like the Rafale fighter jet were still relevant.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel credited the former Congress chief with promising higher Minimum Support Price to the farmers of the State. “As Rahulji had promised nyay (justice), I want to tell the people every farmer will get nyay by receiving ₹2,500 in their pockets,” Mr. Baghel said.

Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot urged Mr Gandhi and his sister, Priyanka, to resolve to travel around the country and revive the country to take on the BJP.

Pitching for a change of regime in the country, Mr. Scindia said “the war cry at Ram Lila ground should reverberate across the country under Soniaji and Rahulji’s leadership”.

Congress leader from Maharashtra, Rajeev Satav, who was handpicked by Mr. Gandhi asked the former Congress chief to be “the face against the party’s fight against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government”.

 

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, the only leader who addressed the rally in English, too talked about ideology of Hindutva ideologues like M.S. Golwalkar and V.D. Savarkar being pursued by the Modi government.

“Today, India is suspect in the eyes of the world. India’s economy is broken, India’s polity is broken and India’s leadership has completely failed us. If it is one person who should bear the responsibility, it is Narendra Modi,” Mr. Chidambaram said.

“They are pushing an agenda which does not belong to Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru or Babasaheb Ambedkar. The agenda they are pushing is the agenda of Golwalkar and Savarkar. Your job, my job, our job is to fight the agenda of Golwalkar and Savarkar which will break India. I want you to stand up and fight the BJP and save India,” he said.

Referring to Kashmir, he said the voice of 75 lakh people was being suppressed by stationing the Army and now they had spread unrest in the northeast. “If there is political instability, there is economic instability and you have dumped policies that are anti-people and you think the world will keep quiet. The world will not keep quiet,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 7:07:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/at-ramlila-maidan-congress-leaders-urge-rahul-to-wield-the-baton-again/article30307479.ece

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