On the last leg of his four-day bus tour of Hyderabad–Karnataka region ahead of Karnataka Assembly polls, Rahul, during his interaction with professionals and business leaders, said, “RSS is running the government. It has planted its people everywhere. Even secretaries in ministries are appointed by the RSS.”
Rahul said that even the NITI Aayog had RSS people. “Institutions don’t belong to any party or ideology. The RSS has planted its people everywhere. Even India’s foreign policy is in a mess. China enjoys a lot of clout in all neighbouring SAARC nations. India has been isolated,” he said.
He assured the business community that if the Congress returns to power in 2019, they will revise the complicated Goods and Services Tax (GST). He said “we will bring down the tax slabs. Currently the GST is too high”.
The Congress president also alleged that an RSS ideologue gave the idea for demonetisation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Do you know where the idea of note bandi (note ban) came from? Do you know who gave the idea of note bandi to the Prime Minister of India? It was not RBI, it was not Arun Jaitley (Finance Minister), it was not an officer in the Finance Ministry. It was a particular ideologue of the RSS. Now you imagine the RSS places an idea into the Prime Minister’s mind and the Prime Minister launches that idea,” said.
Two days ago, he had demanded an apology from the RSS for its chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comments on the Indian Army. Rahul’s direct attack on the RSS is being seen as an open challenge to the right-wing organisation which is influencing the Karnataka poll campaign through “Hinduvta” and other related issues.
ಮೀನು ತಿಂದು ಧರ್ಮಸ್ಥಳ ಮಂಜುನಾಥನ ದರ್ಶನ ಪಡೆಯೋ #10PercentCM @siddaramaiah ಒಂದೆಡೆಯಾದರೆ, ಜವಾರಿ ಕೋಳಿ ತಿಂದು ನರಸಿಂಹ ಸ್ವಾಮಿಯ ದರ್ಶನ ಪಡೆಯೋ #ElectionHindu @OfficeOfRG ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಕಡೆ.
ಪ್ರತಿ ಬಾರಿ ಏಕೆ ಹಿಂದೂಗಳ ಭಾವನೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಧಕ್ಕೆ ತರುತ್ತಿದೆ? ಎಲ್ಲರನ್ನೂ ಸಮನಾಗಿ ಕಾಣುವುದು ಸಮಾಜವಾದ, ನಿಮ್ಮದು ಮಜಾವಾದ. pic.twitter.com/t4AP8GJvzl
— B.S. Yeddyurappa (@BSYBJP) February 12, 2018
Taking a jibe at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, he said that in an equal society all businessmen big or small should be able to go to Finance Minister’s office, but small businessmen can’t go to Jaitley’s office now.
Meanwhile, the BJP and the Congress once again fought over vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa tweeted that Rahul had visited the Hindu temples after eating a hybrid chicken meal. In response, the Congress released a picture of Rahul eating a vegetarian meal. When the media asked him about this, Rahul chose to ignore their questions. But Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that it was not possible for the party to respond to every question raised by the BJP.
In the last four days, Rahul has covered over 700km y road crisscrossing six districts of Hyderabad – Karnataka region. On Saturday, he landed at an airstrip in Bellary district and addressed his first public meeting at Hospet near the world heritage site Hampi. After that, he addressed several small and big meetings in Koppal, Raichur, Yadagiri, Gulbarga, and Bidar districts before flying back to New Delhi from Bidar airport.
Rahul visited at least six important temples and mutts during his four-day road journey. He also visited the famous Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah in Gulbarga. It is a holy place to both Hindus and Muslims.
Last day Tuesday, he visited Anubhava Mantapa at Basava Kalyana near Bidar. Anubhava Mantapa was founded by the 12th-century social reformer Basaveshwara or Basavanna who founded the Lingayat religion after revolting against the casteism in Hinduism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described it as India’s first experiment with democracy in the Parliament, last week.
He also visited the homes of late chief minister Dharam Singh and the late minister Quamarul Islam who died last year. Rahul Gandhi requested Islam’s wife to contest in the coming Assembly polls.
The backward Hyderabad – Karnataka region is a mineral rich area and prone to droughts. Lingayats, Muslims, Tribals, and Dalits dominate the region and the Congress hopes that the party will retain its stronghold this time too.