Saffron party pursuing divisive politics, spreading fear and creating schisms in society. Congress general secretary and scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty Rahul Gandhi, on Friday, drew a parallel between the ideologies of the BJP and the British. He said the saffron party was pursuing “divisive politics”, which was once practised by the British to perpetuate their rule over India.

He was addressing Congress party workers from all over the state on the last day of a month-long ‘Abhay Udaan, Bharat Mahaan’ programme. He said divisive politics was based on “spreading fear, which is used to divide the people and create schism in various sections of society”. Pointing out that there was another type of politics, which united and brought the people together, he said this one was based on Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of allaying fears and strengthening the social and communal bond. “It is Gandhiji’s politics, which is the need of the nation today,” he said, adding that it was the Congress, which had been practicing the politics taught by the Mahatma.

He expressed the hope that the ‘Abhay Udaan, Bharat Mahaan’ programme – aimed at fostering national unity post-Mumbai attack and mobilising party workers ahead of the Lok Sabha polls   will unite the people and realise the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi, who wanted to see people from different communities living in peace and harmony. Rahul, who was projected as the topmost leader of the party by slogan shouting Congress leaders and workers, said India being a nation of over 100 crore people need not fear anyone. “It will stand on its own feet and lead the world,” he said,” adding “But not with the support of any politician, but with the contribution and support of its poor, downtrodden, villagers and city dwellers.”

The audience applauded his comment by shouting slogans ‘Rahul Gandhi tum aage badho, hum tumhare saath hain ‘.He also spoke on the increasing distance between the common people and politicians in this age of technology, adding that when there was no television and Internet, Gandhi remained connected with the people by writing lakhs of letters. But the gap between the leaders and the people increased when Internet and television became available everywhere, he said. He stressed on the need to remove the gap, and said that leaders must mix with the people to know the basic issues and find out a solution for them.

He said that some people referred to him as a “child”, and some called him “inexperienced” and others said “I am a young man.” He added: “But whenever I confronted a problem and failed to find an answer, I consulted a book of Gandhiji’s quotations kept on my reading table and always found the right answer. So, Gandhiji is my guide.”

He praised Gujarat’s contribution to the nation, saying that the state gave Mahatma Gandhi who secured the country’s freedom. Later, Rahul administered oath of patriotism and determination to fight terrorism to the Congress workers. He also felicitated several Gujaratis who had excelled in their respective fields. They included Naishal Shah, who had topped the all India chartered accountancy examination, world billiard champion Rupesh Shah, Sufiya Sheikh, who swam across the English Channel and actress Pranchi Desai.

Among others who addressed the function were state Congress president Siddharth Patel and Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil. Ahmedabad city Congress president Pankaj Shah presented a vote of thanks.

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