BJP practising politics of blood, says Rahul

Dehradun, Feb 23: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Sunday accused the BJP of practising “politics of blood” by dividing people along religious and caste lines, and said his party will bring a legislation granting the poor the right to health services.

Addressing a rally here, Gandhi sought to woo women, youth and poor as he criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for practising self-centred politics.

Though he did not name any party, Gandhi said people in the opposition did not feel pain of people.

“They do politics by making people fight each other, slay each other… (They) practise politics of blood. They only want power. This is the difference between them and us. We want to give you power. They want to give you lectures, take away your power,” he said.

“Politics means removing pain of others. There is no place for anger, arrogance in it. I have understood this in 10 years,” he said.

Targeting the Gujarat chief minister without naming him, Gandhi said the state made progress due to work of all its people, including women, youth and tribals.

“He (Modi) thinks ‘I have built Gujarat’,” Gandhi said.

The Congress leader also raised questions about Modi’s anti-corruption credentials, saying the chief minister appointed a Lokayukta in Gujarat only after a judicial order.

“There is still one man in Gujarat who does not come under Lokayukta. All others are under it,” Gandhi said in an apparent reference to Modi.

He accused the BJP of not cooperating with the government in the passage of pending anti-corruption bills in parliament.

“I spoke about them in the media. Our leaders spoke to their leaders. They are silent… We will try to bring them in ordinance form,” Gandhi said.

The Congress leader also spoke about allegations of corruption faced by former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and accused the BJP of “not seeing” corruption in the party-ruled states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

“They only see power. They can do anything for power, make Hindus fight against Muslims, pitch one caste against the other,” Gandhi said.

In an apparent reference to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Gandhi said a BJP leader, who later became party president and prime minister, had opposed computers when former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi sought to encourage their use.

He said the BJP now claims to have initiated the telecom revolution.

“They do not have any vision. They do not have long-term thinking,” Gandhi said.

He said rights-based legislations brought by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, including the right to food, have ensured security for people.

“Now we will bring the right to health,” he said.

Gandhi also said his party will work to raise income levels of 70 crore people who were above poverty line but earned less than the middle class.

“We will raise their incomes to the level of the middle class in the next 5-10 years,” he said.

Pitching for greater presence of women legislators, he said a time should come when 50 percent of elected representatives were women.

“I am standing with you. Where tickets can be given, we will do it in Congress,” he said.

Gandhi also sought to take credit for the “one rank one pension” demand of ex-servicemen, which has been accepted by the government.

Uttarakhand has a large presence of ex-servicemen.

Gandhi also lauded the armed forces for their role in rescue operations following the flash floods in the state last year.

He also spoke of the UPA government’s decision to raise the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders available to households from nine to 12.

IANS