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“If You Make One Person God, It’s Not…”: Congress Chief Slams BJP

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Targeting the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday said in a democracy if one person is made a god, it will not be a democracy, but will become an autocracy.

He called on all sections of society, especially SC/ST and other sections to unite for safeguarding the Constitution and democracy.

The veteran leader, while pointing at Prime Minister Modi projecting his Gujarati identity while seeking votes during Gujarat polls, urged people to vote for the Congress during upcoming elections in Karnataka, while highlighting that he said he too is “the son of the soil”, and asked people to support him, his party and its leaders.

“For everything Prime Minister Modi, in a democracy, if you make one person a god, it is not a democracy it is an autocracy, and it will lead to dictatorship. Think about it. You have to know your rights and you should fight to get them,” Mr Kharge said.

He was addressing the “Aikyata Samavesh”, a large convention of SC/ST communities organised by the Karnataka Congress in the run-up to the Assembly polls, which is likely by April-May.

Mr Kharge further said, “If you have strength, if you are united, you will have value. If you are not united, the divide-and-rule principle that the British used which Prime Minister Modi is using now will be applied to you by everyone else in the society. Keep this in mind.”

The goal should be to protect democracy in the country, and to safeguard the Constitution, he said.

If the Constitution and democracy are there, one can ask for reservations, and promotions, and can become MLA or a Minister, he added.

The AICC chief said that lakhs of people are joining Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his “Bharat Jodo Yatra”.

“There are more than 30 lakh job vacancies in the government sector and Prime Minister Modi is not filling them, why? We have to question and demand it to be filled. Out of 30 lahks, 15 lakh is for SC/ST and OBCs, these are assured jobs,” he said.

“They (ruling BJP administration) are not filling up these vacancies, because if the poor get jobs and get money into their hand, their (BJP) game will be over. So they are recruiting people on daily wages and contract basis for jobs,” he added.

Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah, state Congress chief D K Shivakumar, AICC General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, were among a host of party leaders who attended the event.

Stating that we should question the government, which he said is silent on its promise to provide two crore jobs every year, Mr Kharge said, “Did anyone ask? No. When Prime Minister Modi comes only Modi, Modi slogans echo and when Amit Shah comes Shah, Shah slogans, ask them about jobs.”

Highlighting unemployment, and farmers’ issues among others, he said, “Despite all this, why are people, also those belonging to SC/ST communities, quiet? Why didn’t you fight? It is your fundamental right provided under the Constitution.”

Alleging that progressive thinkers and writers, who write in favour of the poor or against the ruling dispensation and its policies, are directly sent to jail, and there is no freedom of speech and expression for them, Mr Kharge also accused the media of showing only Prime Minister Modi and all his activities, all the time.

Mr Kharge said, “I was in Gujarat to campaign for the polls, Prime Minister Modi was addressing rallies wherever he went and used to say- I’m a son of a poor, son of the soil, son of Gujarat, please hold and raise me. When he was held and raised by people in Gujarat, you should do the same for me here in Karnataka.”

Pointing out that Prime Minister Modi projected his Gujarati identity and used to ask for votes, he said, “All of us here are from Karnataka. Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar, Muniyappa (former Union Minister), Parameshwara (former Deputy CM), and I are from Karnataka. So we will urge you that we are also sons of this soil, get us elected and make us form the government.”

Pointing out that Karnataka, which was a progressive state, has seen ruins under the BJP rule, Mr Kharge said, “They created fights between people in the name of religion, caste. BJP is responsible for it…there is looto aur baanto (loot and share) system under the BJP, no work is happening, money is demanded everywhere.”

Officials say money is important at all levels, he said “We have such a government here, do we want such a government? If such a government has to go, you will have to work together to ensure Congress wins.”

Taking a dig at BJP national President J P Nadda, who recently visited Karnataka, he said, he lost in his home state of Himachal Pradesh and is roaming here seeking votes.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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