RSS, Pak on same page in spreading violence: Congress

RSS, Pak on same page in spreading violence: Congress

Addressing a press meet on the eve of Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting at Sewagram in Wardha district near here, AICC chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said the RSS vision is contrary to the Gandhian ideology. PTI file photo

The Congress on Monday alleged the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Pakistan are on the "same page in propagating hatred, violence and division among people".

The opposition party also equated the BJP with the Britishers, alleging both of them followed 'divide and rule policy' and supported loot of India's resources to be moved abroad.

Congress's stinging attack follow repeated jibes from the ruling party that the opposition party and Pakistan both wanted to oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi from power.

Amid repeated attacks from Congress on the issue of Rafale deal, BJP president Amit Shah recently asked whether the opposition party was forming an "international mahagathabandhan" (grand alliance) against Modi.

Addressing a press meet on the eve of Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting at Sewagram in Wardha district near here, AICC chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said the RSS vision is contrary to the Gandhian ideology.

"When Gandhiji and the Congress were fighting the British, the RSS kept quiet. The RSS doesn't represent any section of the society. It believes in violence and it's base is polarisation, hatred and discrimination," he said.

On reported remarks by Pakistan against the RSS at the United Nations, Surjewala said, "Pakistan, like the RSS, supports violence and it practices hatred and divisiveness. "It (the RSS) also supports violence. The Congress and people of India don't support this."

Surjewala said the CWC meeting at Sewagram, which was Gandhiji's "karmbhoomi" (the land where one works), will be historic. It will take place at Mahadev Bhavan, just 300 metres from the Gandhi Ashram.

"This is a battle between ideology of Gandhi and Godse. You can't imbibe Gandhi's idealism by speaking good about him or taking pictures like him.

"For those in power, Gandhi's thought is just a lip service. Those in power murder Gandhi's thought. They swear by Gandhi only for optics and photo-op," Surjewala said in a veiled attack on Modi.

He said the BJP's base was "untruth, fear and arrogance" and the party has to "cleanse its soul to understand Gandhi".

He said the CWC meeting in 1942 was held here to give the call of Quit India and the party will now pledge to launch a campaign to free the country from "loot-jhoot-bhay-batware (lies, fear, divisiveness)".

"An anti-people and arrogant BJP has replaced Britishers after 71 years," he said, alleging the Britishers looted India's natural resources and took them abroad and the BJP government has also given a free hand to "bank looters" to rob the country's resources.

Under British rule, India's plurality was attacked with the policy of 'divide and rule', he said, as he accused the BJP of indulging in communal, caste and regional polarisation and playing a political game of chess like Shakuni (a wily character in Mahabharata).

"Like the British, the BJP wants to curtail democratic principles and centralise power in Modi. Like the British, BJP's DNA is anti-farmer and it is against the oppressed, Dalits, tribals, backward communities, minorities and women," he said.

Talking about the Black Act on salt and levy of taxes on Indians by British, he said the BJP brought Gabbar Singh Tax and Notebandi that have harmed small traders and businessmen, referring to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the demonetisation.

Surjewala said the BJP works only for a handful of rich people like the British did.

"Like the British, who misused police agencies to harass freedom fighters, the BJP is using the ED, the CBI, police and investigating agencies to crush opposition," he alleged and also accused the ruling party of muzzling the voice of independent media.

"Britishers used to portray India as a poor country and a land of snake charmers. Similarly, Modi has maligned the country during his overseas visits by saying India had not progressed in 70 years," Surjewala said.

He said under the leadership of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, the party will resolve at the CWC meet to free the country from the "economic anarchy" under the BJP government.

Rahul Gandhi is expected to arrive in Nagpur Tuesday for the CWC meeting, which is expected to last for around two hours. He will pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi at his ashram, attend a prayer meeting and lead a padyatra that will culminate into a public meeting.

Asked why the Congress is not moving courts on the Rafale fighter jet deal, Surjewala said the party has placed the issues in the people's court.

Congress has alleged corruption in the deal and has repeatedly attacked Modi. The government has denied all charges.

Surjewala said people will force the prime minister to speak on the issue and convert the "Maun Modi" into "Bol Modi".

He also sought to justify the "chor" comment by Rahul Gandhi against the prime minister in the context of the Rafale deal, alleging the BJP had also maligned Rajiv Gandhi by calling him 'chor' and their leaders had said 'Mera PM Chor Hai' for the former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

"What do you call a chowkidar who is caught red-handed. Even the ex-French president has said so. This is admission of guilt by silence. Rahul Gandhi asked the prime minister to speak up so that the PM's post is not maligned," Surjewala said.

On NCP president Sharad Pawar's reported clean-chit to Modi on the Rafale case, he said the NCP has clarified those comments were twisted and there was no reason not to believe their leaders.