Rahul Gandhi began his two week US tour by digging sharply at BJP govt for its "politics of divide and polarisation is radicalising and isolating people in India," claimed Congress Vice President.
Addressing the students at University of California, Berkeley on India at 70: Reflections on the Path Forward accepted that Congress had lost its touch with the people after 2014 elections where BJP took over and reduced his party to just 44 seats.
Somewhere around 2012, a certain arrogance crept into Congress and they stopped having a conversation with peopleRahul Gandhi, Congress Vice-President
Gandhi however, now feels the faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the economic crisis as an aftermath of demonetisation of Modi govt would be a plus point for his party to come up in the 2019 elections.
Gandhi also made it clear that he was ready to be a PM candidate for the 2019 elections to run aganist PM Modi who is looking to take a second term. But he added that though he wishes to run for elections, it is the decision of the party that will be implemented.
“I am absolutely ready to do that....We have an organisational party that decides that and that process is currently ongoing...That decision is something the Congress party should make.”
During the address he was not short of criticising the BJP govt for its note ban, GST and also added that politics of polarisation was very dangerous taking into account the number of lynchings caused in the name off religion and different cultural beliefs.
“Hatred, anger and violence can destroy us. Liberal journalists are being shot. People are being lynched, Dalits are being killed over suspicions of carrying beef, Muslims are killed over suspicions of eating beef, all this is new in India,” he said.
He cited the example of terrorism in Kashmir to back off how Congress had maintained peace through out the country. When the Congress came to power terrorism was rampant in Kashmir, “when we finished there was peace, we had broken the back of terrorism”, Gandhi said.
From San Francisco, Mr Gandhi will travel to Los Angeles. He is likely to visit Aspen Institute to interact with the think-tank community.
The Congress vice president will also travel to Washington DC and Princeton University before his final address to overseas Indians in New York.