THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said whoever becomes the Congress president should always remember that he represents a set of ideas, a belief system and a vision for the country.
Rahul was replying to questions form media persons on the side-lines of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Ernakulam district on Thursday. When asked what advice he would give to the person who occupies the post of president, he said; “Always remember that you are occupying a position which is a historic post. It’s a position that defines and has defined a particular view of India,” he said.
Mr Gandhi said the congress president is not an organisational post. It is an ideological post and it is a belief system. While reiterating that he is not in the race for president’s post, he said any congress leader who wants to fight for the post has the right to contest the organisational elections.
Gandhi said it is important for the opposition parties to come together to fight the ideology, financial power and captured institutional power of the BJP-RSS combine.
“It is important that the opposition has a discussion on the issue to evolve a strategy to fight the BJP,” he said.
However, the Congress leader said his goal with regards to the Bharat Jodo Yatra was to send out a message to the people of the country that hatred, violence and arrogance that is now visible in the country is not good for India.
“Our country has a tradition of humility, non-violence and compassion and that is actually the true India. Apart from fighting the hatred, the other two issues on which we are focussing is the growing disparity between the rich and the poor. It has reached a point of no return. Poor are suffering high prices , unemployment and it’s an extremely painful time for them and then there are a handful of people who have immense wealth. This contrast is not good for India.”
When asked about the desertions from Congress including the recent instance in Goa, Mr Gandhi said; `We are fighting a machine that has captured the institutional framework of our country, a machine that has unlimited money, unlimited ability to pressurise, buy out and threaten people.”
Rahul said the jodo yatra had received overwhelming response in Kerala. “the effect of the yatra will be the same irrespective of who is running that state since there is an underlying problem in India. People of the country, especially youth are feeling tremendous pain.
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“My view is that all forms of communalism, all forms of violence, regardless where they come from, are the same and should be combated. There should be zero tolerance towards communalism regardless of where it is coming from.”
For 20 years, one person has not faced press conference
At the press conference, Congress chief spokesperson Jairam Ramesh told journalists that they were asking too many questions and it was time to wind up.
He said in a lighter vein that some leaders had not replied to queries in press conferences for more than 20 years, Rahul reminded him;”it’s not some leaders but only one leader. I think there is only one leader who has not been subjected to questions at press conferences for the past two decades.
No prizes for guessing that he was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.