Amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday spoke on a range of issues from the 1975 Emergency to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
In an exclusive interview to News Nation, Rahul responded to a host of charges levelled against him and the Congress by the ruling Modi government.
Here are the excerpts of Rahul’s exclusive interview to News Nation:
Q. You want to change the nation’s ideology, you want to give a new direction to the nation? But can this be done only with a change a governance?
A. We want to form the government on the basis of nation’s ideology which is of love, brotherhood, justice and moving together. In the last five years, Modi ji ran the government single-handedly, without listening to anyone.
He implemented demonetisation, Gabbar Singh Tax without asking anyone. He defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes without discussing with the Finance Minister, Finance Ministry. The RBI Governor did not know about it.
We want to listen to the nation’s voice and run the government accordingly. There should not be a government run by one man.
Q. Modi ji claims that the Congress has damaged all the Constitutions since the very beginning.
A. The Congress never sidelined the RBI. Never during the Congress rule, four judges of the Supreme Court came out in public and said that an “external force” is stopping us from working. Whom where they talking about? They took Judge Loya’s name. It is obvious that “external force” is Narendra Modi.
Modi ji damaged the Planning Commission, Election Commission, RBI. Congress never did this. Even if the Congress want to, it cannot. The reason is the system of the Congress is not like that of the RSS. Congress’ system is now of control, indeed it is very chaotic. Congress first listens and then works. RSS speaks, RSS is an instrument of advertisement. RSS does not think, it is an amplifier.
Our party speaks after listening to the nation. Our party carried out bank nationalisation, you can call it Left of Centre, the same party brought liberalisation 10-15 years later, you can call it Right of Centre. The same party gave MNREGA, it also talked about GST. The Congress works pragmatically after listening to everyone.
Congress does not have a central rigid ideology. We work after listening to the nation. An institution like the RSS attacks the institutions of India. When Narendra Modi demonetised the Rs 500 notes without asking the RBI Governor. They did not listen to the nation. The nation has said that in financial matters, we will make this institution our advisor. Narendra Modi ji sidelined them. Congress would have never done that. Congress has built the institutions.
Congress fought the most important war of freedom.
Q. Priyanka Gandhi during Delhi roadshow said now elections should be fought on the issues of demonetisation and GST. News Nation had asked this question to Narendra Modi during an interview two days ago. He said that election on the issue of demonetisation has been done in Uttar Pradesh and we won it with 3/4th majority. Congress fought the Gujarat Assembly elections on GST and we won all the seats in Surat. And now elections are being fought on the basis of work done in last five years.
A. Did this answer come from Modi ji’s memory or from the note sheet he had in his hand. The truth is the youth of the nation is talking about unemployment, corruption, farmers’ plight and the attack Narendra Modi ji carried out with demonetisation and GST. And it will come out clear on May 23. It will be clear on what issues the election has been fought.
News Nation: During his interview to News Nation two days ago, nowhere did Modi ji refer to the note pad.
Rahul: You can edit this if you want. I allow you to edit this part. If you did not like what I said, you can edit it. If you are feeling afraid, you can edit this.
Q. Narendra Modi ji says that ask the “sarve sarva” if his family did not impose the Emergency.
A. Indira Gandhi ji imposed the Emergency and Indira Gandhi ji admitted that it was a mistake and I also admit that Emergency was a mistake.
Q. Narendra Modi has questioned the Congress manifesto. He has said that the Congress is fooling the people by showing them false dreams.
A. Narendra Modi speaks what he has in his heart and what he himself does. The Congress manifesto has a small picture of me and another of Congress, along with the picture of the people all over it. This is our philosophy. It has been prepared after talking to people. Whether it is about farmers, labourers, NYAY scheme or Rs 3,60,000 in five years. Narendra Modi told a lie of Rs 15 lakh.
Ask him what happened to Rs 15 lakh. Ask him what happened to 2 crore jobs to youth. Ask him to come for a debate of 15 minutes with me on Rafale. I challenge he will have to bring a book, a note pad won’t do. And even after that, inquiry will be held and two names will come out – Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani because “Chowkidar Chor Hai.”
I will ask him four questions on Rafale – 1. Narendra Modi told French president that the contract should be given to Anil Ambani. Modi ji said jets should not be manufactured in India. HAL has been manufacturing jets for the last 70 years. It manufactured Mig, Jaguar, Mirage and PM says HAL can’t be given the contract. PM Modi tells French President that jet worth Rs 526 crore will be bought for Rs 1,600 crore.
The Hindu, in its report, said the defence ministry officials said in their official document that the prime minister held parallel negotiations. Parrikar ji said he knew only about the first contract with HAL and has now idea about the Rs 1600-crore deal.
If Narendra Modi ji had not stolen in the deal, he would have said that he will order an inquiry in five minutes. But in the last three years, Narendra Modi has neither come for a debate with me because “chowkidar ne chori ki hai”.
Q. If Congress or any non-BJP government comes to power at the Centre, will the Rafale deal be renegotiated or the offset partner be changed?
A. There will be no vindictiveness or witch-hunt. Inquiry will be held and culprits will be punished. Before cancelling the contract, we will have to ask the Defence officials. PM, who calls himself ‘chowkidar’ is not ordering an inquiry because he knows that something wrong has been done in the deal.
Q. Matter is sub-judice. How can an inquiry be ordered in such a case when the matter is in Supreme Court?
A. I apologised to the Supreme Court for attributing the “chowkidar chor hai” to the verdict. I directed the remark saying the Supreme Court that chowkidar is chor. But I did not apologise for my statement that chowkidar did ‘chori’ in the Rafale deal.
Q. When Pragya Thakur’s name was announced as BJP candidate, then a statement by PM said that you have linked Hindu with terrorism.
A. Terrorism cannot be linked with any religion. Religion and terrorism are two different things. I have never said this. This is totally wrong.
Q. BJP has alleged that you are fighting from Wayanad where Hindus are minority.
A. I am fighting from Amethi also. Modi’s politics in south India – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Odisha – gave these states an impression that there is no place for them in India. He seemed to tell the southern states that country will run from Nagpur and Chennai has nothing to do with it. To give South India a message, I am fighting from two places.
Sam Pitroda's ‘Hua toh hua’ remark
There cannot be ‘hua so hua’. Justice should be delivered and those who have done wrong should be punished. I have clearly told Sam Pitroda to say sorry and apologise, you should not have said this.
Q. BJP has alleged that the Congress was responsible for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Do you agree with it?
A. I have said that whatever happened in 1984 was wrong. Law should be implemented and whoever did violence and hurt people and killed them, they must be punished.
Q. You hugged PM Modi in the Parliament and the camera also caught your wink. It was then compared to Priya Varrier’s wink. What led you to do that because such things are unusual in the Parliament. What was going in your mind?
A. I was listening to Prime Minister’s speech and he had so much hatred in his heart about me, my family and the Congress. I was not catching the anger thrown at me. I had love in my heart, I did not accept the gift of hatred from him. I gave him the gift of love and hugged him. I don’t hate Narendra Modi. Narendra Modi is an ideology and I am fighting it and we are going to defeat it in the elections. I have no personal enmity with him.
Q. On your announcement of Rs 72,000 per year under NYAY scheme, PM Modi said during his interview that they have track-recorder while Congress has tape-recorder.
A. May 23 will decide who has delivered what. Narendra Modi delivered note ban, Gabbar Singh Tax, demolished the economy which was the strength of the nation. He did not deliver 2 crore jobs to youth, Rs 15 lakh that he promised, adequate prices to farmers, farm loan waiver. He delivered Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani. He waived off loans worth Rs 5,55,000 crore given to 15 people. Arun Jaitley met Vijay Mallya before he fled to London. You called Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and Anil Ambani ‘bhai’, you delivered for them.