Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during an interaction at the Chatham House, in London, late Monday evening, March 6, 2023 | Photo: PTI
Washington: Rahul Gandhi has said that the BJP will be "decimated" in the next three-four assembly elections by the Congress, emphasising that they have the basic requirements that are needed to defeat the ruling party which do not have the support of the vast majority of the Indian population.
These remarks were made by Gandhi, who is in the US for a three-city US tour, on Thursday at a reception hosted for him by eminent Indian American Frank Islam.
“There is a tendency of people to believe that this sort of juggernaut of the RSS and the BJP is unstoppable. This is not the case. I'll make a little prediction here. You will see that the next three or four elections that we fight directly with the BJP will be decimated,” Gandhi said in response to a question at the reception.
“I can give it to you right now, that they're gonna have a really tough time in these assembly elections. We'll do to them the very similar stuff that we've done in Karnataka. But if you ask the Indian media that's not going to happen,” he said.
The Congress secured a comfortable majority and ousted the BJP from power in Karnataka in the May 10 assembly elections.
The visiting leader told the invited group of Indian Americans, members of the think-tank community and lawmakers that the Indian press is currently giving a highly favourable version of the BJP.
“Please realise that 60 per cent of India does not vote for the BJP, does not vote for Narendra Modi. That's something you have to remember. The BJP has the instruments of noise in their hand, so they can shout, they can scream, they can distort, they can yell, and they are much better at doing that. But they do not have the vast majority of the Indian population (supporting them),” he said.
Responding to another question, Gandhi said that he is convinced that the Congress will be able to defeat the BJP.
Assembly elections will be held in five states -- Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram -- later this year, setting the stage for the crucial general elections in 2024.
“Rebuilding the democratic architecture is not gonna be easy. It's gonna be difficult. It's gonna take time. But we are absolutely convinced that we have the basic requirements that are needed to defeat the BJP,” the 52-year-old former Congress party President said.
“You will hear from the media that Modi is impossible to defeat. A lot of it is exaggerated. Modi is actually quite vulnerable. There's huge unemployment in the country, a massive increase in prices in the country, and these things in India, pinch people, very, very quickly and very hard,” he said.
“But it's been a very interesting time for me to see how this process plays out. I would've never imagined that this is how democracy is attacked. This is the method of attacking a democracy. It has been very good for me,” he said responding to a question on his disqualification as an MP.
The Wayanad (Kerala) Member of Parliament was disqualified from Lok Sabha earlier this year after he was convicted by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his "Modi surname" remark.
“These are good things for me because they teach me and they crystalise exactly what I'm supposed to do and how I'm supposed to do it. I thank all of you for your support, your love and affection. It means a lot to me, especially coming to the United States and seeing that there are many, many people who are ready to fight for Indian democracy and protection,” he said.