Rahul comes out all guns blazing
Mar 26 2014 , New Delhi
Says BJP’s ideology against ‘idea of India’, makes light of opinion polls
He also pooh-poohed main rival BJP’s claims and opinion polls of a comfortable majority for the main opposition at Lok Sabha hustings set for April-May.
Speaking to reporters after a grandiose release of the party manifesto, Rahul Gandhi asserted, “the BJP balloon will explode like the India shining campaign of 2004” claiming some knowledge of ground realities in key states like Uttar Pradesh.
In an impressive articulation, Rahul Gandhi said, “I having nothing personally against Narendra Modi, but BJP ideology was against the very idea of India”.
Rahul Gandhi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi also cited the poll surveys in 2004 and 2009 that went completely off-the-mark while making predictions on electoral outcomes.
The Congress vice president spearheading the ruling party campaign from the front asserted, “wait for the polling to happen, 2014 elections will throw up major surprises as it did in 2004 and 2009”.
In order to back his party’s claims, Rahul Gandhi pointed out that BJP has lost many allies like Nitish Kumar in Bihar and it does not have allies in several states. “Friends in BJP tell me that many allies are not supporting the party,” the Congress vice president said.
On the contrary, he said Congress had sewed up major tie-ups with parties like NCP led by Sharad Pawar, RJD led by Lalu Yadav and RLD of Ajit Singh.
Rahul Gandhi also defended the primaries conducted in 15 constituencies to select party candidates. “There may be some short comings but 12,000 members have been empowered to select 15 party candidates. It’s a very powerful idea”. He added: “It’s not just a process, we will carry on with primaries.”
Meanwhile, the Congress manifesto promises to look at the option of giving reservations on economic grounds without distorting the current facilities provided to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
The promise of providing reservations in education and employment for economically sections is seen as Congress’ attempt to win back to its fold the traditional upper caste support base.
In a bid to balance out its overtures to upper castes, the party in its manifesto also expressed its commitment “to create national consensus on affirmative action for SCs and STs in the private sector”.
Taking the caste card further to ensure that the present equilibrium does not get disturbed, the manifesto promised to establish a “special commission for SCs, STs and OBCs to identify communities within each group, which have not benefited so far”.