As regional parties bristle at remark, Rahul Gandhi clarifies: ‘Congress doesn’t want to be Big Daddy’

After noticing, that only the Congress can fight the BJP because the regional parties have neither ideology nor central approach, he upset many parties in the opposition, the leader of the big Congress party Rahul Gandhi has now chosen a more precise stance. He said his statements in Udaipur had been misinterpreted and that he did not consider Congress a “big father”.

Gandhi said that Congress is in no way “superior” to other opposition parties. He said all parties are fighting the same battle but added that “the ongoing ideological battle is between the RSS national vision and the conference’s national vision.”

During an interaction in London, Gandhi also said that the Congress did not win the election due to polarization and the BJP’s dominance of the media. He added that the fight in India is not a political fight, it is not a fight between a political organization and a group of other political parties.

“We are now fighting the institutional structure of the Indian state being taken over by an organization which means the only way for us…we will not get a respite from the institutional framework of our country…the only way for us is to go to a large mass of the people of India. And that is not Congress just…that’s for all the opposition parties, he said.

He said Congress should think of a regulatory system much closer to a large mass of people. We also have to think of large-scale mass movements on issues such as unemployment, prices and regional issues and we have to coordinate with our friends in the opposition. So I don’t see Congress as the big dad. It is a collective effort with the opposition but it is a fight to take back India.”

Asked if he would enhance cooperation with other parties moving forward, he said, “Yes. And the point I made in Udaipur that was misunderstood is that this is an ideological battle now and it is a national ideological battle which means that we, of course, respect … for example DMK as a Tamil political organization but Congress is a party with ideology at national level.So Congress will have to think of itself as a structure that enables the opposition.Congress is in no way superior to other opposition parties.We are all fighting the same battle… They have their own space… We have ours.But the ongoing ideological battle is between the RSS national vision and the congressional national vision.

In his closing remarks in Udaipur Shentan Shaffer last week, Gandhi said that only Congress can fight the BJP because regional parties have neither an ideology nor a central approach. “The regional parties belong to some classes. They do not represent everyone,” he said.

This battle cannot be fought by a regional party. Because this is an ideological battle. The ideology of RSS fights the ideology of Congress. The BJP will talk about the Congress and its leaders and workers but it will not talk about the regional parties. Because they know the regional parties have space but they cannot defeat the BJP because they have no ideology. They have different approaches. We have a central approach. “Our fight is about ideology,” he said.

On why the BJP won the elections and the Congress did not win despite issues like unemployment and price hikes, he attributed it to “polarization and total control of the media”.

“Also, another thing one has to accept is that the RSS has built a structure that has penetrated into the big bloc. Opposition parties and Congress need to build such structures. And we need to go more aggressively to the big bloc of people… 60-70 percent of the people who are not voting for the BJP and we need to do it together,” he said.

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