'Distraction strategies': Rahul Gandhi's dig at BJP on Bidhuri row, India name change

'The Congress is certainly winning Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh'

PTI09_24_2023_000098B Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaks during The Conclave 2023, in New Delhi | PTI

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has called the recent controversy surrounding the BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri's derogatory remarks against BSP leader Danish Ali in Lok Sabha a distraction tactic of the BJP. 

Rahul, while attending a conclave organised by the Pratidin Media Network of Assam, said the idea of 'One Nation, One Election' was aimed at distracting from the real issues of the people. "It's one of the BJP's distraction strategies," he told reporters.

"The main issues in India are the concentration of wealth, huge inequality in wealth, massive unemployment, huge unfairness towards the lower caste, OBCs, and tribal communities, and price rise," he said.

"Now, the BJP can't contest those. So 'let's have Mr. Bidhuri make a statement. Let's get together and sort of have elections together. Let's change the name of India. This is all distraction. We know it, we understand it. And we're not going to let them do it," he said. 

The Congress MP also expressed hope that the INDIA bloc would put up a good show in the upcoming Assembly elections. "I would say, right now, we are probably winning Telangana, we are certainly winning Madhya Pradesh, we are certainly winning Chhattisgarh. Rajasthan, we are very close, and we think we will be able to win. That is what it is looking like, and by the way, that is also what the BJP internally is saying," he added.

Rahul added that the BJP's poll tactic is to win the election by distracting the opposition, stating it was an important lesson the Congress learnt in Karnataka. He added that the party's victory in the Southern state was because they fought the polls constructing their narrative.

"What you are seeing today, this gentlemen Mr. Bidhuri and then suddenly Mr. Nishikant Dubey, all this is the BJP trying to distract from the idea of the caste census. They know that the caste census is a fundamental thing that the people of India want and they don't want to have that discussion," the former Congress chief said.

"Every time we bring a point on the table, they use this type of stuff to distract us and we have learnt now how to deal with it," he said. "What we did in Karnataka is we gave a clear vision for the state, 'this is the social security programme that we are going to set up for you' and then we control the narrative.

"If you look at the Telangana polls, we are controlling the narrative, the BJP is not even in the narrative, it is gone. The BJP has been decimated and it is over in Telangana," Gandhi said.

He claimed that the Congress is controlling the narrative in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the run-up to the polls there and the party was adapting to a situation where the BJP controls the media.

 Don't think the opposition is not capable of adapting, we are adapting, we are working together, we are 60 per cent of India's population. BJP is in for a surprise in 2024 (Lok Sabha polls)," he said.

He argued that the special session itself was an idea to distract the media from the Adani issue. "The first thing they were planning to do was to change India to Bharat but there was a huge backlash, they realised people would not like this, so put that in the background and came up with this," he said.

The government is saying that the women will reap the benefit of the bill after 10 years but the Congress wants it now, he added. 

"There is no connection between women's reservation and census or between women's reservation and delimitation," he argued, adding that the Centre can implement the women's reservation bill "tomorrow morning."

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