Rahul Gandhi took over as the 16th president of India’s Congress party by launching a scathing attack on rival Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing party workers at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi, Rahul said while Congress took India to the 21st century, incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking it back to the medieval era as everything revolves round his personal image.
Politics belongs to people, but today it is being used against them. Many are disillusioned because it is devoid of kindness and truth.
Communal violence is shaming India. People are being killed for what they eat. Politics is being used to crush people, he said.
“We are now being compelled to imagine that businesses can be built without harmony, that only one man is the voice of reason, and expertise, experience and knowledge can be cast aside for personal glory,” he said making an indirect attack on Modi.
“We consider the BJP workers as our brothers and sisters even though we don’t agree with them. Congress does not fight hate with hate,” he added.
Sonia Gandhi, who gave way to her son Rahul after heading Congress for over 19 years, said the country’s foundation and shared traditions are being attacked by certain forces and there is an environment of fear now. But Congress will continue its struggle to protect those traditions and values come what may, she said.
Congratulating her son for his elevation, Gandhi said he had to bear the brunt of violence since his childhood. After joining politics, he had to face blatant personal attacks that only made him stronger.
Earlier this week, Rahul was elected unopposed as party president while he was campaigning for Gujarat elections.
Rahul faces big challenges as Congress has been losing elections. Exit polls carried by TV channels show that BJP is set to win assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.