Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre of 'using' the offices of the Governors to target the non-BJP ruled States in the country and claimed that it was pursuing its agenda of thrusting one-nation, one language policy on the country.
Mr Gandhi, who entered the State from Kerala, nearly 22 days after launching the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' from Kanyakumari, alleged that Governors were being used to "topple" the opposition ruled States.
"Why should Governors have right to interfere in opposition ruled States? Are they elected by the people?" he asked while addressing a mammoth rally in Tamil Nadu's Gudalur this evening.
The DMK government in Tamil Nadu has been at loggerheads with Governor R N Ravi over several issues, including its Anti-NEET bill, seeking to exempt the state's students from the ambit of the entrance test.
"Have the people elevated them to the Gubernatorial position? What right do the BJP and RSS have to topple government after government, which is duly elected by the people?" he asked.
Mr Gandhi also claimed that the Centre had no right to hold back the State's share of the GST and that the sum should be given to States at the right time.
"States should be partners (of administration) and Central government should hold the States in partnership. But the Centre wants to impose one language, one culture for the entire nation. We want unity but at the same time we should respect diversity of languages, cultures and religions," Rahul Gandhi, who halted his speech for a brief while after hearing the evening prayers from a local mosque, said.
He accused the BJP-led government of spreading hatred, violence and anger among the people and said the Congress would not allow this to happen nor would the party allow any disrespect to any State or language.
During his interaction with businessmen during the yatra, he was told that the Centre's policies, especially the demonetisation and GST were "disastrous" for the people. "The GST made the lives of businessmen more complicated," Rahul Gandhi, said after concluding his 18-day long Kerala leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Praising the beauty of Gudalur in Nilgiris district, Mr Gandhi said his sister, who built a house in Shimla used to describe its natural beauty. "Today, I told her that she has not yet seen the hill town of Gudalur." The Congress leader entered Tamil Nadu through this town enroute his campaign to Karnataka on September 30. He was joined by scores of party workers and volunteers in this town in the hilly Nilgiris district.
"#BharatJodoYatra resumes at Gudalur, Tamil Nadu. Shri@RahulGandhi along with yatries will carry on their relentless journey toward an India that is free and prospering," the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) said in a tweet.
Later, addressing a press meet, Congress National Spokesperson Jairam Ramesh said, Rahul Gandhi has assured to take up the problems of small tea growers and Sri Lankan repatriates with Chief Minister M K Stalin. Mr Ramesh also claimed that the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Gandhi has worried the BJP, which was doing its best to 'damage' and 'disrupt' it. Rahul Gandhi had launched his 3,500 km, 150-day campaign from Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari on September 7.
The Karnataka leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra will begin on Friday, with the march led by Rahul Gandhi entering the state via Gundlupet in Chamarajanagar district.