KANYAKUMARI, Sept 9: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said he has made his decision on whether he will become the next party president and asserted that he will give his reasons if he does not contest.
The former Congress president also hit back at the BJP over its ‘Parivar Bachao’ remark, saying the yatra is being undertaken to undo the damage done by the BJP-RSS of spreading hatred in the country.
Speaking to the media during the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, which started from Kanyakumari on Thursday, Gandhi said he is not leading the yatra and is only participating in it.
“I will get some understanding about myself and this beautiful country from yatra, and in these two-three months, I will be a little wiser,” he told reporters leaving everyone in splits.
“I’ve made my decision; I’m very clear and I’ll reply when the Congress president election takes place,” he said, responding to questions on whether he will lead the Congress once again.
“It will become very clear whether I become president or not when the party elections take place. Please wait for that day,” Gandhi said.
“If I don’t contest the Congress president election, you can ask me and I’ll reply why I did not,” he told reporters.
Gandhi had resigned as the Congress president in 2019 taking moral responsibility for the party’s poll drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections. Sonia Gandhi was appointed as the interim Congress president after Rahul Gandhi refused to withdraw his resignation.
Nominations for the Congress president’s election will begin on September 24 and will end on September 30, and in case of a contest the election will be held on October 17 and the counting on October 19.
Gandhi said he was not leading the yatra (“Bharat Jodo Yatra” from Kanyakumari to Kashmir) and was only participating in it.
He also said it is the responsibility of everyone in the Opposition to work for the country.
“Everybody has an opinion, BJP has one, RSS has its opinion. They are free to have. For us Congress, this is a journey and an attempt at understanding what is going on in India and an attempt at undoing the damages that have been done by BJP and RSS,” Gandhi said when asked to comment on BJP’s ‘Parivar Bachao’ remark.
“The idea of this yatra is to connect to the people, understand what they are facing and also to communicate with them. This padyatra is against the damage that the BJP and the RSS has done by spreading hatred in the country,” he said.
Gandhi said there are two ideologies in the country and the battle between them is going on for a thousand years.
“This battle will continue…We are playing our role, we will continue to play our role.”
He alleged that the BJP has taken control of all institutions in the country and has inserted its people everywhere. He said the BJP was pressuring those who are against it.
“They pressure those who are against them. We are used to fighting political parties. Now the fight is not between parties and it is now between the structure of the Indian state and the opposition. It is not an easy fight and a lot of people do not want to fight,” he told reporters.
Gandhi is undertaking a 3,570-km yatra to connect with people across the country while seeking to strengthen the Congress party, which has suffered successive electoral defeats in the last few years.
The BJP has termed it a “Parivar Bachao” yatra, claiming it is aimed at saving the Gandhi family which is facing corruption charges in the National Herald case. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have already been questioned by the ED in the case. (PTI)