Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP wants to change Constitution, system from Parliamentary to Presidential, says Tushar Gandhi 

'The BJP wants to change the Constitution, they want to change the system from Parliamentary to Presidential…neither should be allowed,' Tushar Gandhi tells DH’s Mrityunjay Bose.
Last Updated : 09 May 2024, 23:37 IST
Last Updated : 09 May 2024, 23:37 IST

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Known to call a spade a spade, Tushar Gandhi does not shy away from his responsibilities of being a descendant of Mahatma Gandhi. Tushar Gandhi (64) is the great-grandson of Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi, grandson of their second son Manilal and daughter-in-law Sushila, and son of Arun and Sunanda Gandhi. Known not to mince words, Tushar Gandhi is an activist, thinker and writer and wears many hats including heading the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation. “The BJP wants to change the Constitution, they want to change the system from Parliamentary to Presidential…neither should be allowed,” Tushar Gandhi tells DH’s Mrityunjay Bose.

Why are the 18th Lok Sabha elections being described as very important for the future of India?

This election is very important. As the BJP has made its agenda clear, we have to be careful. They would use the brute majority to further their agenda of changing the complexion of the country and our Constitution. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its top leaders have set the agenda of 400-plus seats in the Lok Sabha. Some of their senior leaders have openly declared that they would change the Constitution and this is possible only when there is a brute majority.

How are people going to respond to it?

This election is not about parties at all. It is about keeping the Constitution or discarding it. In the past, India had voted to restore democracy, but this time it is to preserve the Constitution. We cannot allow the RSS agenda to be continued in India. Autocracy is a big threat to India.

What is the biggest threat that you have seen in the last 10 years of BJP-led NDA rule?

We have seen dictatorship and autocracy. All powers are concentrated in the Prime Minister’s Office. The BJP wants to change the Constitution, they want to change the system from Parliamentary to Presidential…neither should be allowed.

Midway into the polls, what are the reports from the ground?

There is discontentment and anger among the people against the government. If you look at 2019 and 2024, the response is very good. You may even witness that the social media trolling has subdued this time. When democracy is thwarted by autocracy and brute majority, it must be strengthened by people's power. And that's what elections and voting is all about.

What is your take on the recent speeches of the Prime Minister?

There is no talk of development. As the phases progress, we see that hate-speech pattern, talk of Hindu-Muslim, and so on. I have never seen such speeches from any Prime Minister. We cannot spread hate or allow it to be spread.

What is the change you have witnessed in Rahul Gandhi?

If you look at 2014 to 2019 to 2024, you will see a significant and remarkable change in Rahul Gandhi. What he had been speaking about is seemingly coming true. He is constantly fighting and taking up issues, to which BJP is not able to respond. Unfortunately, he had been a victim of a vicious and malicious campaign which was funded by the BJP. His party was unable to do much to defend him. People of the country have realised the change in Rahul Gandhi.

As the elections progressed, we saw some statements of certain Congress leaders and self-goals, which the BJP is taking advantage of?

Yes. Much more self-control is needed under today's circumstances. At this stage, statements cannot be allowed to be misused by the BJP.

How do you look at Maharashtra?

The reports are very good. We have seen what has happened in Maharashtra in the last two years. Two parties (Shiv Sena and NCP) have been split (by the BJP). People have realised this. They all know how it happened, and how institutions were misused.

Published 09 May 2024, 23:37 IST

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