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'Ask about Odisha train accident, BJP will say what Congress did…': Rahul Gandhi in US

As many as 275 people were killed and over 1,000 injured in an accident June 2, after three trains collided in Odisha's Balasore. Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah super fast and a goods train — were involved in an accident.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal New York Updated on: June 05, 2023 11:11 IST
Odisha train accident, Rahul Gandhi, US
Image Source : AP Rahul Gandhi slams BJP over Odisha train accident

Odisha train accident: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is in the United States, hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre over the Odisha triple-train accident. Addressing the Indian diaspora in New York on Sunday, the former Congress MP said that the BJP was in the habit of not owning up to its mistakes and shifts the blame to the Congress when questioned. He said that they will blame Congress’ past for the horrific train collision in Balasore.

Gandhi, who is on a visit to the US, was addressing the members of the Indian diaspora in the Javits Centre in New York. They observed a 60-second silence in respect of those who died in the Odisha train accident.

The accident involving three trains has left at least 280 dead and brought into focus the issue of railway safety. Some Opposition parties are demanding the resignation of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

‘You ask them anything, they will look back and pass the blame…’

..." You ask them (BJP) anything, they will look back and pass the blame..ask them how the train accident (Odisha) happened, they will talk about what Congress did 50 years ago…," said Rahul Gandhi.

The train collision involving Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and a goods train is regarded as one of the worst railway tragedies in the history of the country.

'Congress did not blame British for train accident'

Giving an example stating of a similar train tragedy that occurred during Congress rule, the former Lok Sabha MP said that the then railway minister had owned moral responsibility and had resigned. "I remember a train accident when the Congress party was in power. The Congress Party did not get up and say it is the fault of the British that the train has crashed. The Congress minister said, it's my responsibility and I am resigning. So this is the problem we have back home and that we make excuses and we are not accepting the reality that we are faced with,” Gandhi said.

'Modi drives car looking rear-view mirror'

Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP saying they never talk about the future, and always blame somebody else in the past for their failures.  "He (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is trying to drive the car...the Indian car and he looks in the rear-view mirror. Then he does not understand why this car is crashing, not moving forward. And it's the same idea with the BJP, with the RSS. All of them. You listen to the ministers, you listen to the prime minister. You will never find them talking about the future. They only talk about the past," he said.

The Congress leader also drew parallels between the BJP and RSS, saying they are incapable of looking into the future. "The BJP and the RSS are incapable of looking into the future. They never talk about the future; they only talk about the past. And they will always blame somebody else for the past," he said.

Speaking about the relevance of non-resident Indians in the country's politics, the senior Congress leader said, "The central architect of modern India was an NRI, Mahatma Gandhi was an NRI...The freedom movement of India began in South Africa...Nehru, BR Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Subhas Chandra Bose, all were NRIs and had an open mind to the outside world. They all came home with different ideas. "That's what I expect from you (the Indian community) ".

'Fight between Mahatma Gandhi and Godse'

He said there is a fight going on back in India between two ideologies -- one represented by the Congress and the other by the BJP and the RSS. "The simplest way to describe this fight is that on one side you have Mahatma Gandhi and on the other side, Nathuram Godse," he said. "The ideology that we follow is the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi, an NRI and a kind and simple man who propagated non-violence and had a lifelong quest for the truth. However, the ideology that BJP and RSS follow is that of Nathuram Godse, a violent and angry man unable to face the reality of his own life," Rahul claimed. 

(With agencies input)

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