Congress on Monday emphasised on the need for a united Opposition with an aim to defeat the BJP’s ideology and not just Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking at India TV conclave “Samvaad”, senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi said, “BJP used to believe that the individual personality’s importance was least after ideology. But now a person has become superior than party and ideology in BJP.”
Discussing the cult personality of Narendra Modi and if the Opposition will be able to defeat him anytime soon, Tyagi said “there is no 'Modi hatao' slogan and the motive is to stop BJP. We need 57-inch chest - 56 of Modiji and one of Raj Babbar ji's party (Congress) - to defeat BJP.”
Commenting on the results of recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Tyagi emphasised on the need of Opposition unity and cited the lack of it as one of the reasons for BJP’s win.
The JDU leader also brushed aside the theory of tampering of EVMs that many opposition parties have harped on since the recent Assembly elections. Tyagi suggested that it was not the tampering of EVMs but that of the unity of the Opposition that was responsible for Modi and the BJP’s winning streak.
“There was no EVM tampering in UP, the tampering was in Opposition unity,” Tyagi said.
Tyagi also targeted the PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, calling J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s party a sympathiser of terrorists.
“Everyone knows that Mehbooba Mufti’s party is a sympathiser of terrorists. I dare you to announce that Article 370 be repealed,” said Tyagi.
Tyagi cited a book written by a former RAW chief where he mentioned Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s speech at Kashmir’s Lal Chowk. According to Tyagi, Vajpayee, in his speech, had asked party associates not to allow Mehbooba on the stage.
Furthering his attack, Tyagi said that the book notes Mehbooba’s links with Pakistan-sponsored terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.
“People who went ahead and formed an alliance with the PDP should not lecture us on allying with Lalu Yadav,” Tyagi said, adding that the PDP’s manifesto has a clear mention of Greater Kashmir.
Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar also agreed with the JD(U) leader and said that the focus should be on defeating the ideology and not the individual.
“We cannot fight a person but the ideology, so we should not focus on fighting an individual (Narendra Modi),” Babbar said.
Hitting out the BJP-ruled Central government and Modi, Babbar said, “This (BJP) is a fantasy government and the head of this government is working like a fantasy hero. Modi is expert in showmanship (aadambar) and he is doing just that.”
Reacting to attempts to unite opposition parties, Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the politics of all parties except the BJP are either dynastic or personality-based.
Hitting out at Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government, Rudy said, “Casteism, appeasement and nepotism was the basis of 'Mahagathbandhan' win in Bihar. The state has given 15 years to first Lalu Yadav and then Nitish Kumar. We all are seeing how the government in Bihar is being run from jail.”
“Unlike other parties, BJP has proved that a 'chaiwallah' or an ordinary party member can become Prime Minister,” Rudy said.
Responding to Babbar’s charge that Modi is a “fantasy hero”, Rudy said, “Why does the Opposition has a problem if Modi ji is our fantasy hero.”
“BJP works on two verticals - one on the political level and another on the government's level,” he said.
Responding to Rudy’s charge that Bihar alliance is cattiest, Tyagi said, “You have made alliance with caste-based political outfits such as Apna Dal and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party.”
Raj Babbar, who had offered to resign as UP Congress chief, defended the dynastic politics charge and said that anyone from the Nehru-Gandhi family has not accepted any post in either Centre or any state government since 1989.
“Who from the Nehru-Gandhi family has taken any post in government since 1989? I know what are the qualities of our leader and why have accepted the leadership. He is our party's leader, you can question his leadership when he becomes the country's leader,” he said.
Congress said that the Modi government has failed to keep the promise to create 2 crore jobs per year.
Rudy said his Skill Development Ministry is working to train people and make people self-employed.