RSS guiding the Narendra Modi govt, says Rahul Gandhi
Kalaburagi (Karnataka): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the Union government was being guided by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)—the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party—which wanted to take control of institutions and promote right-wing ideas.
“How many of you know that in every ministry (at the centre) there is an OSD (officer on special duty) from the RSS working with the minister,” he told entrepreneurs and business leaders from the Hyderabad-Karnataka region in Kalaburagi.
“He is being guided by the RSS on what to do and the approach is to capture institutions,” said Gandhi, who is on a four-day tour of the backward districts of Hyderabad-Karnataka region to kick-start the Congress assembly election campaign.
Gandhi said the Congress believes institutions should belong to the people and not be controlled by the government. He referred to the Planning Commission being replaced with NITI Aayog and the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, where thousands of teachers were allegedly removed and replaced by right-wing teachers.
“Our tendency is to democratize institutions and their tendency is to bureaucratize institutions,” he said, adding, “The design of the RSS and BJP is that it is absolutely convinced that they know everything—and that is the fight that we are having.”
He alleged that the idea of demonetisation came from the RSS. “It was not Reserve Bank of India, not (finance minister) Arun Jaitley, it was no one from the finance ministry. It was a particular ideologue of the RSS. Imagine—that RSS places an idea in the PM’s mind and he launches it,” Gandhi said, adding that demonetization had helped corrupt people convert black money into white.
Gandhi has mounted a steady attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP during his campaign trail in Karnataka as well as in Parliament in recent weeks to try and corner the government on various issues before the 2018 assembly elections in Karnataka and 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
In particular, the Congress has targeted the government on demonetisation, shoddy implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), unemployment, agrarian crisis, farm loan waivers and foreign policy. He said the GST was conceived as a single tax for the largest number of items used by the common man with an 18% cap. He said that the Congress pleaded with the BJP not to have a five-tiered GST or a 28% slab. “They did not listen to us. Eventually, they passed the GST and you see the result,” he said.
Gandhi said India finds itself isolated in the international community as friendly countries like Russia were getting close to “our neighbour on the western side”, a reference to Pakistan.
He added that India also needs to find a peaceful way to compete with the Chinese without being too aggressive. “We are entering a new phase in the world, where you’re going to see increased tensions between the Chinese, Russians and USA. And India has to have a clear understanding of this,” he said.
- Coca-Cola India to launch fruit variants of Sprite, Limca
- CLP India eyes Essel Infraprojects’s power transmission business
- Shell may buy majority stake in solar power firm Fourth Partner Energy
- Mahindra-owned SsangYong slips back into losses in 2017
- India’s approach at global climate talks had undergone major change: Erik Solheim