PM Modi Refused To Listen To The Country's Heartbeat: Rahul Gandhi
| Editor in Chief - Indian Observer Post - 12 Dec 2018

PM Modi Refused To Listen To The Country's Heartbeat: Rahul Gandhi

By Onkareshwar Pandey

New Delhi, Dec 11, 2018: Exactly after one year on December 11, the day on which Rahul Gandhi had took over as president of the Indian National Congress last year, his party won three state assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. This victory came after several losses party faced in the last one year. 

The Congress won in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and became largest party in Madhya Pradesh in the state elections billed widely as the semi-final, the last popularity test before the 2019 national elections. It lost Mizoram and failed to perform in Telangana but its wins in India's heartland have overshadowed the setback.

The result of these Assembly elections has strengthened Rahul Gandhi’s position within the party as well as amongst the allies of Mahagathbandhan. Rahul will now emerge as a centre point of opposition unity.

Exulting in his Congress party's state election wins today, Rahul Gandhi said. it was clear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would find it very difficult to win elections. "Clearly, there is a feeling that PM Modi was unable to deliver what he committed," the Congress president told reporters this evening.

On a question, Shri Rahul Gandhi said, “I think we will work with the opposition. There are a couple of central issues;

Issue No. 1 is how India is going to give employment to its youngsters,

Issue No. 2 is how India is going to ensure that farmers have a future in this country. How agriculture is fixed in to the larger economic vision of this country. Issue No. 3 is the corruption that has been blatantly carried out and I keep repeating again and again and again that demonetization is a scam,   demonetization is scam. Rafale! Everybody knows corruption took place. So, these would be the three main ideas.”

“There is an issue of mismanagement of the economy and causing unnecessary damage to sections of the economy that were actually doing well- badly implemented GST, demonetization which was disastrous, now RBI Chief has also resigned. Ex. RBI Chief has commented what he thought about demonetization and others have also commented, so, those would be the issues. But broadly what I think the Congress Party and the opposition are going to attempt is that Mr. Modi sold a vision to this country five years ago and this country had the patience to listen to that vision and then to give him five years to carry out that vision and by all accounts, Mr. Narendra Modi and the BJP have failed in providing our country with a vision of going forward for the 21st century for 2018-19 to 2025." 

"So I think what we would be trying to do is we would be trying,  rather than attacking the current dispensation, we would be setting the structure and the architecture for a new vision going forward for our country. Congress party has done this a number of times before, we did it in 1991, and we did it before that in the 1970s when there was green revolution. So we are now starting a conversation internally and we are going to involve large parts of our country in developing a vision for India that we would then implement. So that would be the broad theme,” he said.

To another question, Shri Rahul Gandhi said “I was speaking to my mother yesterday and I was telling her that the absolute best thing for me was the 2014 election. Now this would be counter intuitive to you, you might say what you are saying but for me I have learnt a lot from that election. I have learnt a lot about how to think about things. I have learnt that the most important thing is humility. This is a great country."

"The most important thing is what the people of this country feel. And as a politician you have to listen to what they feel, you have to connect with what they feel and you have to try and work with that sentiment. So that is a lesson! I mean frankly Mr. Narendra Modi has taught me that lesson because I see what not to do.  As Mr. Narendra Modi had a huge opportunity 5 years ago, he was handed a massive opportunity to transform this country and the sad thing and I feel bad for him even though I am in opposition is that he refused to listen to the heart beat of this country."

"He refused to listen to what youngsters are saying to him, he refused to listen to what farmers are saying. Certain amount of arrogance came in and I think that fails a politician something that I learnt from him, how he has acted. I learn from what I see and the best teachers for me are the people of this country. I mean you meet them, everybody has got an opinion, everybody has something to add value to, you talk to a farmer, he explains you what he does, you talk to a small business-man, he explains to you what he does. So there is so much understanding in this country that for any politician there is a lot to learn and offer. That is what I have learnt. It has been quite a nice journey, little bit of a beating also, which is a good thing; it is not a bad thing!”

"When PM Modi was elected, he was elected on platforms like employment, corruption. Now, voters are disillusioned. They believe the PM is involved in corruption. And these losses are the result of that," said the Congress president.

For Rahul Gandhi and the Congress, it was one of the best poll counting days since 2014, when the grand old party was decimated after 10 years in power and PM Modi came to power.

"I was telling my mother that the absolute best thing for me was the 2014 election. I learnt a lot from that election. I learnt that the most important thing is humility," said the 48-year-old Congress chief, who took a lot of the blame for the party's non-stop election disasters.

"Frankly, Narendra Modi taught me the lesson - what not to do," Rahul Gandhi remarked. "PM Modi was handed a huge opportunity. It is a sad thing that he refused to listen to the heartbeat of the country. The arrogance came in."

It was, he added, a "nice journey" from 2014. "There was a little bit of a beating but it is a good thing, not a bad thing...," he quipped.

On the acrimonious campaign, which saw him targeting the Prime Minister repeatedly with the phrase "Chowkidar chor hai", Mr Gandhi said: I did not use any objectionable language. The youth of country elected the PM to work. They want the economic structure of the country to be revived. The PM Is paralysed, he is not able to respond to the pressure of the opposition."

Mr Gandhi credited his party's workers for the state wins, calling them "babbar sher (lions)".

He dismissed speculation of tussles over the chief minister's job in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

"There won't be any big issue of chief minister," he said.

 Congress president Rahul Gandhi congratulated party workers for the wins in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, and said a “resurgent Congress” would make it difficult for Prime Minister Modi to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
 

For the Congress and Rahul Gandhi, this was the grand old party’s best performance since 2014.

However, KCR was able to win Telangana by a big margin and the Congress lost its last frontier in the north east as MNF trounced it in Mizoram.

Reflecting upon the results, Rahul said he was “quite happy with what we have achieved”. He added that he wished the party had done better in Telangana.

Rahul credited the victory to the party “worker, shopkeepers, small businessmen farmer” and also congratulated the losing BJP chief ministers for having put in the work over the years. He said but the time for change is now and the Congress will bring in development.

“In states we lost Mizoram and Telangana, we congratulate those who won. This is a win for the workers who stood up in difficult times and stood for our ideology, youth and small businesses,” said Rahul.

Rahul said there is a lot of work to be done in states where the Congress won.

“It is our responsibility to listen to the demands of these groups and provide states with a vision and a government they can be proud of,” said Rahul.

Rahul said the congress differs with the BJP ideologically but it does not want to make it a BJP-mukt Bharat, but will work hard to fight it ideologically.

Despite strong support base in favour of BJP, Rahul Gandhi fought valiantly and focused on farmer’s distress, unemployment and attacked the Modi Government over Rafale deal in the last one year.

It is clear from the results that, the issue of farmers and unemployment has found some resonance with the voters. Especially in states such as Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the loan waiver within 10 days of the government formation seems to be working well for the party.

The result will also give Rahul a foothold in the national politics. Before the elections, both BSP and SP had snubbed Congress and went alone in MP and Rajasthan. In Chhattisgarh, BSP allied with Ajit Jogi’s party trying to create a third front. But the almost clean sweep of Congress will keep the vote dividing parties in check.

In the last one year, Rahul Gandhi had focused on strengthening the organisation throughout the country. He created several new departments right from farmers wing to unorganised labour wing to NRI wing. He has systematically divided the work among new leaders and has created a system where daily to weekly reports are directly sent to him. Even in ticket distribution, Rahul went by the internal survey and insisted on giving tickets to the winnable leaders.

Rahul also relentlessly campaigned in all the election going states and kept his pitch very simple. He was mostly repetitive in his speeches, farm loan waiver, new job opportunities, attack on the government over demonetisation and Rafale.

The consistency is showing positive results for Congress and going forward, Rahul would likely continue focus on his rural agenda.

He said the BJP has failed to provide a vision for the country.

“I was telling my mother that the absolute best thing for me was the 2014 election. I learnt a lot from that election. I learnt that the most important thing is humility," said the Congress chief, who took a lot of the blame for the party's earlier election defeats.

"Frankly, Narendra Modi taught me the lesson - what not to do," Rahul Gandhi remarked. "PM Modi was handed a huge opportunity. It is a sad thing that he refused to listen to the heartbeat of the country. The arrogance came in."

Asked about the selection of chief ministers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, he said there will not be any issue and it will be done smoothly.

There is a clear message to Prime Minister Modi that people are not happy with his decisions, including demonetisation and those pertaining to farmers and youth, he said, adding the BJP has failed to provide a vision for the country going forward.

Asserting that the process of loan waiver for farmers will start as soon as Congress governments are formed, he, however, said the loan waiver is a measure, not a solution to farmers' distress.

Gandhi was named to lead the Congress exactly a year ago and took over the charge from his mother Sonia Gandhi a few days later.


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