Rahul Gandhi says won't politicise Gujarat bridge tragedy
Hyderabad, November 1, 2022
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday refused to blame anybody for the collapse of the suspension bridge in Morbi, Gujarat on Sunday, in which at least 141 lives were lost, saying that he did not want to politicise the incident.
"I don't want to politicise this incident. People have died here. It is disrespectful for them to politicise this incident, so I am going to do it," he said at a press conference at Kothur in Rangareddy district of Telangana, when asked who was responsible for the tragedy.
When a journalist persisted with the topic, he said, "I have answered you clearly. I am not going to politicise it."
Gandhi is part of the 3,570-km, Kanyakumari-Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is currently passing through Telangana and reached Hyderabad today after covering Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh since beginning the journey on September 7 at Kanyakumari.
The Congress MP from Wayanad in Kerala said a lot of damage had been done to the institutional framework of the country and there had been a systematic attack on different institutions.
"You in the press understand very well how the press is controlled, pressurised and threatened...the judiciary is under attac, the bureaucracy is under attack and this is extremely damaging to the country," he said.
"So, of course, when the Congress party comes back to power, we are going to make sue that these institutions are once again freed from the grasp of the RSS and a certain independence is maintained in these institutions. That is our record and that is something we will do very, very aggressively," he said.
Gandhi said the job creation structure of the country, the small and medium businesses in the country, had been destroyed and the country is unable to produce jobs. He said this was largely because there is massive concentration of power, crony capitalism and concentration of capital. He said both the BJP government at the centre and the TRS government in Telangana were favouring a chosen few businessmen, eliminating competition and creating monopoly in industry after industry.
"Such concentration is bad because huge amount of potential of Indian companie, who are not crony capitalists, their potential is being wiped out. So, we will definitely ensure that the business environment is fair and money is not concentrated the way it is being concentrated," he said.
About the BJP's accusation that the Yatra is merely way of helping him remain fit, Gandhi said, "If my fitness is the goal, the gym is a much more effective than walking across the country."
He said the aim of the Yatra is to fight the hatred and the anger that the BJP is spreading in the country and which is weakening the country.
"We are walking 3,500 kilometres acrss the country, and we are inviting people who believe in the idea of Bharat Jodo and they are joining us by the lakhs. So, this is a very powerful way of demonstrating the feeling that India has inside. India does not believe in this hatred and this violence that the BJP is spreading," he said.
About the route of the Yatra, Gandhi said it could not have covered all the states and they had to decide on a certain route and cover as many states as possible.
To another question, he said the Congress had demonstrated that it is a democratic party by holding elections for the post of its president. He wondered when other parties would hold such elections. "It is interesting to me that the press always asks about the Congress party and about elections and democracy in the Congress party but never ever dares to ask about democracy in the Congress in the TRS or democracy in the TRS or democracy in the RSS or democracy in the BJP.
About the coming Gujarat assembly elections, he said he was confident that the Congress would emerge victories.
"Congress is fighting effectively. It will win. There is strong anti-incumbency," he said.
He did not agree that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has any presence on the ground.
"AAP is only in the air. It's not there on the ground ," he said adding that a false impression is being created about AAP's strength.
The Congress leader said party president Mallikarjun Kharge will decide his role in the elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. "Kharge ii will decide how I am going to be utilised," he said.