Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked the BJP for what he said was politics that banked on the Hindu-Muslim divide. He said that the main opposition party was trying to create a rift in the country through such politics, and only Pakistan would benefit from this.
Rahul, who began a two-day visit to the state, also said he felt the Muslim in India was not radicalised and wanted to be a part of the country. He said he got letters from Muslims saying, “Main is desh ka nagrik nahin hoon kya?” (Am I not a citizen of this country?).
While a large majority of Muslims shared this sentiment, Rahul said “the politics of the BJP is giving a hand, a handle to our enemies”.
Denying a suggestion that the Congress was “appeasing minorities”, Rahul emphasised that a Hindu-Muslim debate only worked in Pakistan’s favour and the biggest “disservice the BJP-RSS has done to this country, and they continue to do it... is that they are trying to create a rift at the heart of this country and only one system will benefit from that, and that is called Pakistan”.
“The single biggest crime that has been committed by the BJP is making the debate in India a debate where they are making majority and minority have tension with each other,” Rahul said during a 90-minute freewheeling conversation with journalists. This debate, he added, had “hampered our national security...across the board”.
On his first visit to Gujarat after Chief Minister Narendra Modi was named the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Rahul said the BJP rose in Gujarat riding on the problems within Congress.
“I don’t think we lose elections to the BJP but we lose elections to the internal...factionalism,” Rahul said.
Holding the BJP responsible for communal polarisation, he said, “If BJP does not polarise in the next election they are not getting even 110 seats. UP mein BJP sapne dekh rahi hai (The BJP is dreaming in Uttar Pradesh)”, he said.
About Modi’s aide Amit Shah being appointed general secretary in charge of UP, Gandhi said, “Amit Shah... he deals with Gujarat he hasn’t dealt with the UP mind. Any serious observer of UP will say that the only way they can get...forget 30...even 20 seats in UP is if they do massive communal polarisation”.
Bihar, Rahul said, “was a tougher problem to solve than Gujarat”. He said that while the Congress was not weak in Gujarat it