‘Will fight for Opposition space in democracy’

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on October 06, 2020

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi drives a tractor during the party’s Kheti Bachao Yatra tractor rally against the farm laws, at Haryan-Punjab border, on Tuesday   -  PTI

Rahul Gandhi says Congress will intensify agitation against farm legislations, demands justice for Hathras victim

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s Kheti Bachao Yatra entered Haryana on Tuesday as the party stepped up its offensive against the ruling BJP regarding the three Farm Acts and the rape and murder of a young Dalit woman near Hathras, UP.

Addressing reporters in Patiala, Gandhi said that he will continue to fight for ensuring a space for an Opposition in a democracy. Asked if the BJP is doing everything because the Opposition is not united, he said the opposition in any country functions within a framework. “What is that framework? The framework is the press, the judicial system and our institutions that protect the voice of the people. That entire framework has been captured. The entire architecture of giving voice to the people of India has been captured and controlled by the BJP,” he said.

Free Press, free institutions

“Give me free press, institutions that are free and the Government will not last. I don’t have that. I can prove, clear-cut prove, with an example of the Rafale deal,” he said. Gandhi said that the media is also walking into slavery if it doesn’t do its work properly.

“You are also walking into a place, where you will become very uncomfortable. I am fighting for it and you in your own way, I am sure are also fighting with, but, it is a bigger thing that has happened. Today, I don’t think there is any other country in the world, wherein another country can occupy 1,200 sq km of its land and the media says nothing,” he said.

He said that he visited Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where the administration is attacking the victim’s family. “It is the result of a complete capture of the soul of this country and it is a forcible capture. If it was captured with affection, I would be the first to stand by but, it is a forcible scam and this fight will become more and more aggressive,” he maintained.

When asked about Union Minister Smriti Irani’s allegations that a special seat was allocated in a tractor driven by Gandhi during his Yatra, he quipped no one questioned when Prime Minister Narendra Modi bought a special aircraft worth ₹8,000 crore for his own personal travels.

Standing with the weak

He added that he owes the people of Punjab and Tamil Nadu. He said the Sikhs stood with his family in 1977, when the Congress lost the election. He said he has stood in front of many struggles to protect rights of people and will continue to do so. He said, “You look at my actions, you will see that I am a person who instinctively feels, when I see some injustice is being done. If you see one strong man beating a weak man, automatically, I am on the side of the weak. This may be of feeling; in fact this is why I get beaten up so much in politics.”

“If I feel that injustice is being done to Punjab, I will be standing on Punjab side, no matter what. If I feel injustice is being done to the Dalit girl in UP, I will go there, I will get 2-3 lathis, no problem, that is my nature. That is what I have been taught, I don’t know any other way and frankly, I can see right now, that my political path would have been much easier, if I didn’t have this,” he added.

Commenting on the Opposition’s charge that he was abroad when the farm bills were passed in Parliament, he said his mother had gone for a medical check up and his sister couldn’t go with her because some members of their staff had Covid-19.

“So that is why I was with my mother, helping her through medical check up. I am her son also after all,” he said.

Published on October 06, 2020

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