- Ideological fight between BJP-RSS and progressive forces: Rahul Gandhi
- "Fighting against ideology that is a threat to Constitution," he said
- "People say there is a force trying to control the country," he said
Rahul Gandhi today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should debate him on issues such as corruption, notes ban, Goods and Services Tax and farmer crisis, given that the PM "works very hard and sleeps for only three hours". In an interview to NDTV while campaigning in Madhya Pradesh for the national election, the Congress president also remarked that PM Modi has "personal hatred" towards him.
"It is a country that is filled with love. He's filled with personal hatred. At public functions I meet with him with love. Even then he doesn't reply. I talk to him respectfully. He doesn't talk even then," Rahul Gandhi said.
The Congress chief said PM Modi has shown him how not to run the country. "If you govern the country without listening to anybody then the country cannot function properly," he said, and added "Nobody can match the communication skills of the PM."
"Five years ago, some people said no one can defeat Narendra Modi. But we didn't back down. We fought in parliament, we fought on the ground. Now he's feeling scared. No one is today saying Narendra Modi will win," Rahul Gandhi added.
When asked if he will be the prime minister after results for the ongoing elections are out, Rahul Gandhi said the decision will be taken by the public. "I will follow whatever the public wishes. I cannot answer this question (on PM) before May 23," he said.
The Congress chief said there is an ideological fight between the BJP-RSS and the progressive forces in the country.
"We are fighting against the ideology that is a threat to the Constitution. PM Modi is ignoring the intelligence of the RBI and announcing demonetisation... Wherever I go, the people of the country are saying that there is a force that is trying to control the country," Mr Gandhi said.
On the recent attacks by PM Modi on his late father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi said, "Narendra Modi talks about Rajiv ji, about Nehru ji, about Indira ji. I know the truth. I know my grandmother's truth. I know it's all lies that he is spreading. What difference does it make? It is okay if you say 'Naamdar'. It will be clear on May 23."
Amid the controversy over senior Congress leader Sam Pitroda on the 1984 riots, Rahul Gandhi said Mr Pitroda was wrong and that there was no debate on the 1984 tragedy.
"Whoever committed violence they should be booked, punished," Rahul Gandhi said.
"Five years ago, some people said no one can defeat Narendra Modi. But we didn't back down. We fought in parliament, we fought on the ground. Now he's feeling scared. No one is today saying Narendra Modi will win," Mr Gandhi told NDTV after his speech at Madhya Pradesh's Shajapur district.
Though Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav have left the Congress out of the Uttar Pradesh 'Mahagathbandhan' or grand alliance to take on the BJP, Rahul Gandhi said Mayawati is a national symbol and that he respects her. "She has sent a message to the country. I respect her, I love her. For political fight, the Congress party will have to fight for ideology," Rahul Gandhi said.
On a lighter note, the Congress president said the numerous memes and jokes on him do not anger him one bit, he in fact enjoys them.