CHENNAI: Congress presidential candidate Mallikarjuna Kharge on Friday said that the Bharat Jodo Yatra undertaken by Rahul Gandhi unites people, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi divides people on religious lines.
Addressing party members at state Congress headquarters Sathyamurthy Bhavan, Kharge who was here to muster support for his election, said, “Bharat Jodo Yatra is for joining (uniting people). Modi is dividing religions. Whenever he (Modi) doesn’t get elected, he breaks parties. In six states we got elected. Why did Modi and Shah disturb this? Is this a democracy? If MLAs do not join the party (BJP), they unleash Enforcement Directorate or CBI or even invoke sedition sections. That is how this government is running.”
Urging the cadre to join him in fighting Mo-Shah, inflation and unemployment, Kharge said, “We can fight many things together. I am your candidate. I will implement everything in the Udaipur declaration.”
Remarking that the Modi regime wants to keep society unequal and injustice to continue, the Congress old timer said, “Modi asks what did the Congress do in 70 years? You have become PM only because of the congress, which has preserved democracy.”
Wondering what has become of the Rs 15 lakhs per person, two crore jobs and black money retrieval promised by Modi, Kharge sarcastically said that the achhe din promised by Modi is a litre of petrol costing Rs 104.
Accusing the Centre of destroying everything the Congress had built, Kharge said, “He’s selling ports, airports and rails. We will have to rebuild the country when he leaves. Only the congress party will do it.”
In a veiled dig at the G-23, he said, “People who leave us are the ones who don’t have faith in the Congress ideology and principles. If you have real commitment you should stay and fight. When they got Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha seats, they did not have a problem.’ In what was interpreted as a subtle reference to his competitor Shashi Tharoor, Kharge said, “Some people talk about high command culture. People who were not members have come and become MPs and ministers also. They are talking about high command culture. I have come step by step, not suddenly.”