Rahul dared Modi to go to any university without security, and tell students as to what he was going to do for the country
Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — As a team-up of 20 likeminded opposition parties announced a protest programme, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday threw a challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, daring him go to any university, without security, and tell students as to what he was going to do for the country.
The Congress leader said the discussion at the opposition meeting here on Monday centered on the mood in the country and it passed a resolution.
Speaking to the media after the Congress-led opposition meeting which discussed the current political situation in the country, held at Parliament Annexe, Rahul Gandhi hit out at PM Modi for the growing anger among the youth and students, the ‘catastrophic” unemployment scenario and the ‘anti-people’ policies of the Modi government.
Extending support to the ongoing CAA protests in the country, he said thousands and thousands of students of all religions and communities have come out in the streets because the government had failed on all fronts.
“There is a feeling of anger and fear in our students, in the weaker sections, in the farmers. The reason this fear exists is because there is a complete failure, absolute blanket disastrous failure on the economic front and on the employment front.”
Making a blistering attack on PM Modi, he said instead of addressing the students and the real issues, the PM was dividing the nation and distracting the attention of the people.
“The opportunity that India had has been lost, let me tell you. We are busy discussing everything except the main issues, which are joblessness and loss of our economic strength. This is being destroyed by Mr. Narendra Modi – Demonetization part-I and part-II.”
“Instead of addressing this, instead of going to the students of India and saying, listen, this is what I am going to do, this is how I am going to give you jobs, and this is how I am going to set the economy right, Modi is doing the biggest disservice to the people by dividing this nation and distracting the attention of the people, he said.
He said the PM has no guts to tell the countrymen why the economy has become a disaster.
“Modi should stand up and have the courage to speak to the youngsters in these universities and tell them, why the Indian economy has become a disaster? Why it has become a basket case and why we have the highest unemployment in 50 years. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister does not have the guts to do this.”
‘He (Modi) does not have the guts to stand in front of the students of this country and tell them, so he crushes them using the police,” Rahul Gandhi said.
He also threw a challenge to the PM to face students without security. “I challenge the Prime Minister right now, to go to any university, stand over there without his police, without his infrastructure and tell the people what he is going to do for this country”.
On the opposition meeting, he said the Congress had a very good discussion with senior opposition leaders and chalked out a programme. However, he skipped the question about the absence of BSP, DMK and TMC in the meeting.
Speaking after Rahul Gandhi, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the TMC, BSP, SP and DMK all were on board as far as CAA and NPR was concerned. If they (TMC, DMK) did not attend the meeting, it was not important as “they are with us” on this issue, Azad said after speaking with the media to brief about the meeting’s details. He said the meeting ran for 3 hours and 10 minutes and deliberated upon all the issues confronting the country and passed a resolution.
In a bid to take the ongoing students movement forward, the opposition parties chalked out a programme of protest.
According to this, the opposition will observe January 23, the birthday of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, as solidarity day. On January 26, the Republic Day, an event of reading of the Preamble of the Constitution and taking oath to safeguard it in all habitations across the country will be held.
And, on January 30, the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi, will be observed by highlighting his relentless campaigns in pursuit of communal harmony.
In the resolution, the senior opposition leaders expressed “grave concern at the alarming deterioration in the livelihood status of the vast majority of the people due to the complete mismanagement of the Indian economy by the Modi government”.
Opposition leaders also criticised the Modi government for the revocation of Article 370.
“The abrogation of Article 370 in a hasty manner has left the State of Jammu and Kashmir, now bifurcated into two Union Territories under a virtual siege for over 5 months. Human rights have been trampled upon and people’s lives ruined. Communications continue to be disrupted, its economy ruined, free movement of the people curtailed. Three former J&K Chief Ministers along with hundreds of political leaders and thousands of people continue to be detained.”
On economic situation, they said, “The economic crisis has pushed the economy to the verge of a recession with a record fall in the country’s GDP, unemployment levels highest in the last half a century, agrarian distress deepening with rising farmers’ suicides, massive closures and lay off in industrial units accompanied by rising prices of petroleum products, cooking gas, vegetables and all essential commodities is making people’s lives more miserable. The Modi government has created an economic disaster”.
They alleged that the Modi government has been sharpening communal polarization in the country.
“Instead of addressing these issues and providing relief to the people, soon after assuming office, the BJP has embarked on a dangerous course of sharpening communal polarization and attacking democratic rights and Constitutional guarantees of the people affecting millions of people and marginalized communities.”
The resolution on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he said it was passed without any meaningful deliberations in Parliament by the BJP exercising its electoral majority in a tyrannical fashion.
“The CAA, NPR and NRC are a package that is unconstitutional, which specifically targets the poor, the downtrodden, the SC/STs and the linguistic & religious minorities. The NPR is the basis for the NRC. We demand the withdrawal of the CAA and the immediate stoppage of the nationwide NRC/NPR. All the Chief Ministers, who have announced that they will not implement NRC in their State, must consider suspending the NPR enumeration as this is a prelude to NRC.”
They also expressed solidarity with the ongoing peaceful multi-religious, popular protests against the CAA, NRC and NPR and noted the death and repression on protesters in the BJP-ruled states.
“We stand in solidarity with all such peaceful protests to safeguard the Indian Constitution. These protests are being met with violent repression in BJP-ruled States and in Delhi where the Police is under the Home Ministry. All the deaths of peaceful protesters have occurred in BJP ruled states (Uttar Pradesh (21), Assam (5) and Karnataka (2). The police brutalities in Universities, Institutes of higher learning and other research bodies across the country must be condemned in strongest possible terms.”
Opposition leaders also noted the appeals made by various organizations, groups and eminent personalities to safeguard their Constitution.