Congress president Rahul Gandhi continued from where he left of on his foreign tour – in targeting the Narendra Modi government – even when he was visiting flood-ravaged Kerala on a two-day visit over Tuesday and Wednesday.
Clearly, he is losing no opportunity to build on a narrative that paints the central government and Prime Minister Modi as the ‘oppressive entity that was wedded to one party, one thought, one nation’ kind of an idea that the BJP and the RSS stood for.
Reaching out to Kerala flood victims, the Congress chief squarely blamed the central government for its failure to give adequate aid to Kerala that has suffered all round destruction and its people in despair. The Centre could and should have done more for the flood victims and Kerala, Rahul Gandhi said when media persons got him to answer a few questions on Wednesday, the second day of his Kerala visit that took him to the worst affected areas in the state.
During the course of his visit, in which he also squeezed in Kogadu of Karnataka that also suffered flooding and landslides and destruction, Rahul Gandhi said it saddened him that natural disaster was sought to be used as a means to drive the idea of hate and bigotry. In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi said “The Kerala floods reveal two ideas of India; The first is one of love and compassion for all living beings, particularly in their suffering. The second is driven by hate and bigotry that is unrelenting even in the face of suffering.”
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The Congress leader’s relentless attack against Modi and the central government on the battle between the ideas of India that he referred to at a meeting in Germany recently indicates that even Rahul Gandhi has moved into a 24X7 election mode. Even when visiting flood victims in Kerala, Rahul Gandhi chose to maintain his attack on the BJP.
The Congress leader interacted with the fishermen community and paid his respects to the fishermen who went out of their way and on their own helped save thousands of marooned people. He also praised the work of several good Samaritans and said this was evident in Kerala as entire India stood behind Kerala in its hour of need.
But the same cannot be said of the government and some other people, Rahul Gandhi said training his guns on the Modi government. The central government did not give enough financial support to Kerala, he charged but said the Congress will do everything it can to help Keralites and extend help in rebuilding the state.
Assuring all support to flood victims, whom he visited at different flood-affected areas like Chengannur and relief camps where thousands were temporarily housed. Rahul Gandhi promised to the victims that his party men and women would be in touch with them and extend help to the extent possible.
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Interacting with fishermen in Alappuzha, Gandhi promised to set up a separate ministry for fisheries to look after their needs if the Congress was voted to power at the centre. The Congress president felt that the centre was found wanting even at the time Cyclone Ockhi hit Kerala.
In Kochi on Wednesday, winding up his tour, Rahul Gandhi launched a broad side against Modi and the central government for neglecting the state when it was in despair.
The central government ought to have declared Kerala floods a national disaster, but did not, he said.