With the victory in Karnataka Assembly elections, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that the grand old party will surprise everyone in the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections as there is a hidden undercurrent building within the country.
He also slammed the BJP-led Central government over the clean chit to China that not a single inch of land has been lost, saying that it is unacceptable but Prime Minister Narendra Modi thinks otherwise.
In an interaction with the media here, the former Lok Sabha MP to a query about the given strength of the BJP, will the grand old party willing to form a coalition government if it does not lead in next year’s general elections, said, “These are the questions that need to be asked to Congress President.”
“But I think Congress will do very well in the next election and it will surprise everyone. There is a hidden undercurrent building and I think we will surprise people,” Gandhi added.
He said that he is not entirely convinced about this idea that Narendra Modi will win the elections, it is not simple as people make out.
“If you do the math, opposition will defeat the BJP without any electoral math,” he added.
To another question about the clean chit to China on intrusion on Indian land, the Congress leader said, “The fact of the matter is that China has occupied our territory and it is a fact that 1,500 sq. km has been occupied by them. It is unacceptable and the Prime Minister thinks otherwise. May be he knows something we don’t know.”
To another question about the prominence of a Hindu state, he said that there is a fight on in India as there are two visions of India.
He said first there is a vision BJP has, which is centralising and polarising vision.
“And there is a second vision which is equally powerful, in fact if you ask me much stronger but not expressing that effectively right now which is a decentralised view and embracing vision. A sensitive compassionate vision. And I am totally convinced that this is a transitional phase and true nature of India, true democracy of India will triumph,” he added.
The Congress leader said that we have gone through this phase and the “party has faced exact same thing in 1930’s and we have decimated and we will do that again”.
Asked about the role of international community, he added that “its our job, our business and our work to fight for democracy in India and it is something we understand and we do”.
“But the thing to remember is that Indian democracy is a public good. India is large enough and collapse in democracy in India will have an impact to the world. So that is on you to think about that how much you value democracy in India but for us, its an internal matter and we are going to fight and we are going to win,” he said.
Gandhi also added that Muslim League is completely a secular party and there is nothing non-secular about the Muslim League. He made the remarks while responding to a question on the Congress’ alliance with Muslim league in Kerala, from where he was elected as a Lok Sabha MP.
To another question if India will act as centre between Russia and the US, he said, “India has to do what is in its interest. We are committed to a democratic vision. So I myself is not entirely convinced that sort of autocratic vision and I think it is very important that democracy is protected on the planet.”
“India has a role there and India has a view which should be put on the table. I don’t think these things should be seen as centre of table, that’s too arrogant. We understand the strengths we bring to the table democratic values,” he added.
The Congress leader is scheduled to meet several people during his visit to the US in coming days in Washington D.C. and New York.