Congress calls for new freedom struggle

Congress president Rahul Gandhi flanked by former prime minister Manmohan Singh and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi at Sevagram Ashram in Wardha, on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: PTi

Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Maharashtra's Wardha district, where Mahatma Gandhi had given the Quit India call against British rule, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said “people should repose their faith in the Congress and Gandhi’s ideology.”

Addressing a public rally, after completing a two-kilometre padayatra in Wardha, Mr. Gandhi said the people of India had given an opportunity to Mr. Modi but the Prime Minister had failed to deliver.

The Congress chief accused Mr. Modi of “insulting Mahatma Gandhi and millions of Indians who fought the British by claiming that India woke up only after he [Mr. Modi] became the Prime Minister.”

Earlier, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) passed a resolution that accused the Modi government of “using Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy as an electoral opportunity” and called for a renewed freedom struggle against the forces of “divisiveness and prejudice.”

The party also adopted a special resolution condemning Tuesday’s police action against farmers on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border.

‘Resorting to lies’

Mr. Gandhi said that while the Mahatma always defended truth, Prime Minister Modi constantly resorted to lies. He cited the promises of depositing ₹15 lakh in every Indian’s account, 2 crore jobs annually to the youth and better prices to the farmers.

Raising the Rafale issue once again, the Congress chief said that Mr. Modi didn’t dare to look into his eyes and kept looking away when faced with tough questions.

‘Modi betrayed trust’

“You tried Modiji. But his car failed, engine failed, tyres got punctured and it didn't work. He betrayed your trust. Now trust the Congress party, trust Gandhi ji’s ideology and together we can take Vidharba, Maharashtra and the entire nation forward. They [BJP] wasted a lot of time,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders joined Mr. Gandhi at the rally. For the Congress, the series of events organised at Wardha and Sevagram where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 11 years of his life was an attempt to reclaim his legacy as its own.

The day started with a prayer meet at the Sevagram Ashram where Gandhi lived; then both Rahul Gandhi and his mother, Sonia, planted saplings next to the one planted by late Rajiv Gandhi and then headed for the CWC meeting.

“Today, a new freedom struggle is the urgent need of the hour – a massive movement to combat the forces of divisiveness and prejudice, to confront the Modi government whose politics is the politics of threat and intimidation, the politics of polarisation and divisiveness, the politics of crushing debate and dissent, the politics of imposing an artificial uniformity in a nation of extraordinary diversity, the politics of hate and vendetta, the politics of subverting all Constitutional values, principles and practices, the politics of lies, deceit, fraud and subterfuge,” read the CWC resolution.

Attacking the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Congress resolution said, “The CWC underscores the blatant hypocrisy of the RSS that vilified and rejected Mahatma Gandhi during his lifetime, and which today has brazenly proclaimed itself to be his champion. It is its ideology that was responsible for spreading the atmosphere of hate that led to the Mahatma’s tragic assassination.”

“Elections will come and go. But the ideological battle has to be relentless and unswerving,” it added.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:24:07 PM |

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