Rahul Gandhi | Congress will “wipe out” BJP in next 3-4 assembly elections, said Rahul Gandhi in America

PTI Photo Washington: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has claimed that his party will “wipe out” the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the next 3-4 assembly elections. He also claimed that they have the fundamentals needed to defeat the ruling party and that a large section of the Indian population does not support the BJP. Rahul Gandhi made the remarks on Thursday at a reception hosted for him by noted Indian-American Frank Islam during his three-city visit to the US. In response to a question in the program, Rahul said, “People feel that the power of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and the BJP cannot be stopped, but it is not so. I make a small prediction here that in the next three to four elections, which we will fight directly against the BJP, it will be wiped out.” “I can tell you right now that he is going to have a really tough time in the assembly elections. We will do with them what we have done in Karnataka, but if you ask the Indian media, they will say that it will not happen.” In the assembly elections held on May 10 in Karnataka, the Congress ousted the BJP from power by securing a majority. Rahul Gandhi told an invited group of Indian-Americans, members of the think-tank community and lawmakers that what the Indian press is currently showing is completely in favor of the BJP. He said, “Please accept this fact that 60 percent of the people of India do not vote for BJP, do not vote for Narendra Modi. You have to remember this. BJP has the tools to make noise, so they can shout..they can distort things and they do it very well. However, he does not have the vast majority of the Indian population (supporting him).” Read this too Rahul said in response to a question that he was sure that the Congress would be able to defeat the BJP. In an interaction with the media at the National Press Club (NPC) on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi said that an atmosphere is secretly being created in the country which will surprise people in the next general elections. Assembly elections will be held in five states—Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram—later this year, setting the stage for the crucial general election in 2024. The 52-year-old former president of the Congress party said, “Rebuilding the democratic structure will not be easy. It will be difficult. It is going to take time, but we are absolutely sure that we have the basic ingredients to defeat the BJP.” Responding to another question at the NPC, Rahul said that the opposition in India is well united. He said, “I think it is becoming more and more united. We are in talks with all the opposition parties. I believe a lot of work is being done. “It is a very complicated discussion because in some places we have competition with (other) opposition parties. So it is a matter of give and take, as needed. But I am sure it will happen.” Defending the Congress’ alliance with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala, Rahul said that the Muslim League is a completely secular party, there is nothing anti-secular in it. When asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity across the world, the Congress leader said, “Definitely the institutions of the country are under attack. Certainly the press of the country is under control. I do not accept this. I don’t believe everything I hear.” On what the Congress will do for the rights of minorities in India if it comes to power, Rahul Gandhi said, “India already had a very strong system, but this system has been weakened. There would be a need for such independent institutions which are free from pressure and control. This has been the pattern in India. There is some confusion in the country. If the Congress comes to power, they can be rectified quickly.” On the allegations of weakening the freedom of the press in India, he said that the freedom of the press is very important for democracy. He said, “It is not just about the freedom of the press. It’s a political outreach on multiple axes, a screwing over the institutional framework that allowed India to speak, that allowed the Indian people to speak…. And the very structure that allows dialogue between the people of India is coming under pressure.” He said that it is being written in the media that it is impossible to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the elections. Rahul said, “You must have heard in the media that it is impossible to defeat Modi. All this has been said in great exaggeration. Modi is really very weak. There is widespread unemployment in the country, there is inflation and in India these things affect people very quickly and very deeply. Responding to a question about being disqualified as an MP, he said, “It has been very interesting for me to see how this process goes. I never thought democracy could be attacked like this. This is the way to attack democracy. Although it has been very good for me. Significantly, a court in Surat had convicted Rahul a few months ago and sentenced him to two years in prison for criminal defamation in a 2019 case related to his remarks regarding the “Modi surname”. Following the pronouncement of the sentence, the Congress leader was disqualified from the membership of the Lok Sabha. He was an MP from Wayanad, Kerala. Rahul said, “It has been very good for me because it has helped me learn what to do and how to do it. I thank all of you for your support, love and affection. It means a lot to me… especially coming to America and seeing that there are many people who are willing to fight to save and protect Indian democracy.” (agency)

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