Congress Confident to Win MP, Chhattisgarh, Likely to Win Telangana and Close in Rajasthan: Rahul Gandhi
NEW DELHI, Sept 24: The former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday expressed the confidence of his party giving a good account of itself in the coming elections to the five state Assemblies and said he was certain of his party winning in two states and run a close call in two other and “probably winning both.”
Participating in an event in Delhi organised by an Assam-based media house, Gandhi said “Right now, we are probably winning Telangana, we are certainly winning Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, we are very close in Rajasthan, and we think we will be able to win. That’s what BJP is also saying internally,” Mr Gandhi claimed.
Assembly polls are scheduled to take place in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram by the end of the current year.
He also said the BJP was “in for a surprise” in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. He also spoke about a “very important lesson” the Congress learnt in Karnataka, where they came to power earlier this year, and have adapted accordingly. The lesson from Karnataka was, the former Congress president said, that the BJP wins elections by distracting and not allowing them to construct their own narrative. “And so what we did in Karnataka, we fought the election in a way where the BJP could not define the narrative.”
Mr Gandhi also referred to the row over the BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri making derogatory remarks against Bahujan Samaj Party MP Danish Ali in the Lok Sabha, and alleged that the BJP always indulges in such tactics to distract from the demand for a caste census. He asserted that the Opposition was adapting and working together and the BJP was “in for a surprise in 2024” general elections. Mr Gandhi also said the idea of ‘One Nation, One Election’ too was aimed at distracting from real issues of the people. “It’s one of the BJP’s distraction strategies,” he asserted.
“The main issues in India are concentration of wealth, huge inequality in wealth, massive unemployment, huge unfairness towards the lower caste, OBCs, and tribal communities, and price rise,” he said. “Now, the BJP can’t contest those. So ‘let’s have Mr. Bidhuri make a statement. Let’s get together and sort of have elections together. Let’s change the name of India’. This is all distraction. We know it, we understand it. And we’re not going to let them do it,” he said.
“What you’re seeing today, Mr Bidhuri, and then suddenly this Nishikant Dubey, this is all the BJP trying to distract from the idea of the Caste census. They know that it’s a fundamental thing the people want, and they don’t want to have that discussion,” Rahul Gandhi said,
“Whenever we bring a point to the table, they use this type of stuff to distract, and we have learnt now how to deal with it,” Mr Gandhi said, adding that in a situation “where BJP controls the media” they are adapting and controlling the narrative among the people.” He gave examples of social welfare schemes in Rajasthan, claiming people back the state government because of them.
Rahul Gandhi also alleged that the opposition parties were facing a “financial and media attack” but were doing well despite that. “Go and ask any businessman in India what happens to them if they support an opposition party. If they were to write a cheque for any opposition party, ask them what happens to them,” he said. The opposition bloc INDIA is not fighting a political party now, Mr Gandhi said, but fighting the Indian state. “We are fighting to defend the idea of India. And that is why we have given our name INDIA,” he added.
During the interaction, Mr Gandhi also talked about his recent Ladakh visit during which he toured the Union Territory on a motorcycle. He said it allowed him to continue the Bharat Jodo format in a different way.
On his learnings from his over 4,000 km Kanyakumari to Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, he said in 21st century India, the communication architecture was so captured by the BJP that it was practically impossible to speak to the people of India through that. “It is very clear that my YouTube channel, my Twitter, they are all suppressed. The Yatra was a necessity for us. No matter what the opposition says, it does not go through without distortion in the national media,” he said.
“Big learning was old school communication going and meeting people, which Mahatma Gandhi ji pioneered in the modern era, others pioneered in older times, that still works,” he said. No matter how much energy the BJP put, no matter how much the media tried to distort, it did not work, because there was a direct connection, Mr Gandhi said.
“For every story BJP media was trying to put in there were thousands of videos coming in to counter that. It was almost like a reverse capture of the mass media,” he said. This problem is not just an Indian problem as it is being faced across the world, he argued.
“For me, personal learning was even more interesting. It is that where you think your limit lies, is nowhere your limit actually lies. Your limit is much further than you can imagine,” he said.