Karnataka effect: Congress not given opportunity to form govts in Goa, Manipur, says Rahul
Raipur, May 19: A day ahead of the floor test in Karnataka, Congress president Rahul Gandhi raked up the issue of government formation in Goa and Manipur last year during his interaction with party workers in Durg, Chhattisgarh on Friday.
Rahul said his party was denied the opportunity to form governments in Manipur and Goa despite having the highest number of seats in the respective Legislative Assemblies.
"In Karnataka, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was given an opportunity (to form the government as the single largest party post polls) but the Congress was not given this option in Manipur (28 seats out of 60) and Goa (16 seats in 40-member House)," the Congress president said.
Asked if he thought electronic voting machines should be replaced with the old system of ballot papers, he said, "A lot of people feel that a change should be brought about and the ballot paper system should be reintroduced," he said.
"The Congress fights elections (in accordance) with rules and regulations. The BJP does not," he added. The Congress chief said the more "serious" situation was of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) "capturing every democratic institution".
"For the first time, four judges of the Supreme Court came out in public and sought justice from the people. The RSS has been capturing every democratic institution. This is a fight of ideology," he told party workers, adding that "we all" have to fight the ideology of the BJP and the RSS, and defeat them.
Alleging that the RSS was involved in pitting people against each other, Rahul said the Narendra Modi government was for some "selected 15-20 per cent of the richest people".
He assured workers that tickets to the state Assembly polls, slated for later this year, would be distributed only after consulting them.
"I assure you that only people believing in the Congress ideology will be given tickets in the coming (Assembly) elections in Chhattisgarh. It will be finalised after having discussions with workers. Tickets will not be given to those who join the Congress from other parties," he said.
The Congress chief said the party would finalise 90 per cent of its candidates for the state Assembly polls by August 15. The state has a 90-member Legislative Assembly.
He exhorted workers to spread the ideology of the Congress and expose the "hollow claims" of the Modi government.
Gandhi told them that it was their duty to tell the people that the PM was a "liar" and the state chief minister "corrupt".
"Farmers, Dalits, Adivasis and people belonging to the weaker sections and small shopkeepers are disappointed. The Modi government has made false promises of depositing Rs 15 lakh into the accounts of people, providing jobs, ensuring good return to farmers for their produce, Swachh Bharat, Start Up India and Digital India," he said.
Calling party workers as the Congress' family as well as its backbone, Rahul said action would be taken against any senior leader who disrespected them.
"The way a Congress worker should have been respected, they were not. I have a target and am going to change this trend. In next one or two years, if any party worker is disrespected by any senior leader, I will take action against the leader concerned," he said.
Accusing the RSS of not giving importance to women, he questioned the organisation on the absence of women members in its "shakhas" (branches).
Meanwhile, in Karnataka, security has been tightened across Bengaluru hours ahead of the crucial trust vote at 4 pm on Saturday. Both the BJP and the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance are claiming to have requisite number of MLAs with them to sail through the tough test.