BJP polarises society, not inclusive & is damaging India: Rahul

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has once again launched a blistering attack on the BJP-led Central government, saying that the ruling party polarises society and are not inclusive and that is damaging India.

Addressing the media here on Thursday, the former MP said: “They sought to generate a certain amount of hate, polarise society and they are not inclusive.”

Criticising the BJP, he alleged: “They brace everybody and divide society and that’s damaging India.”

He said that India has a tradition of conversation of openness.

Citing examples of great leaders, spiritual and political personalities, he added that they (Congress) promoted peace, harmony and conversation.

“So its in our culture, tradition and history to bring people together and have these dialogues and I think it is the difference between us (Congress) and them (BJP). We feel that India should be allowed to express and we feel that political leaders should be comfortable when questioned and should learn from that question. It’s just the difference, ” Gandhi said.

The Congress leader was responding to a query when asked that the BJP engages in hatred and violence.

To another query about the press freedom in India and the arrest of a senior journalist on charges of espionage, Gandhi said, “I think there is a weakening of press freedom and it is not hidden and it is apparent in India, the rest of the world can see it.”

Asserting that press freedom is very important for India, he said, “One should be open to criticism and one should listen to criticism and that’s the feedback that builds democracy. On multiple access there is a clampdown on institutions that allowed the Indian people to talk and negotiate. I view India as a negotiation between people, different languages, different cultures etc. and architectures that Mahatma Gandhi set up was to allow that negotiation to be carried out fairly and freely.”

“And that structure that allows the negotiation between India’s people is going under pressure, ” he added.

To another query on the Opposition unity, the Congress leader, who is on a six-day visit to the US, said, “The opposition is pretty well united, and its getting more and more united.”

He noted that “we are having conversations with all the opposition”.

“I think quite a lot of good work is happening there. Its a complicated discussion because there are spaces where we are competing with the opposition. So a bit of give and take is required. But I am confident it will happen, ” Gandhi said on the Opposition unity.

Asked about the Citizenship law, the former Congress Chief added that he thinks that all Indian people have a right to expression, religious freedom.

“All should feel free to express themselves. I don’t differentiate between any community and any caste. I think India is a conversation and the freer and more open the conversation becomes, India will become more powerful, ” he noted.

Gandhi is also scheduled to participate in several programmes during his US tour.

He has already delivered a lecture at the Stanford University and also interacted with the Indian diaspora in San Francisco.