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Bharat Jodo: Rahul Gandhi Censures Digvijaya Singh, Says "no Proof Needed" From Armed Forces

Anees Zargar |
Gandhi also called out the Central government on the latter's ban on a BBC documentary about the Gujarat riots.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference amid the party's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', at Jhajjar Kotli in Jammu district, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference amid the party's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', at Jhajjar Kotli in Jammu district, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Image Courtesy:PTI

Srinagar: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is currently in Jammu and Kashmir for the long march called the Bharat Jodo Yatra, on Tuesday distanced himself from the remarks made by his colleague Digvijaya Singh on the “surgical strikes,” stating that his comments were not in line with the party.

“We have complete trust in the armed forces, and they do not have to provide any proof for their work. It is his (Singh's) personal view, and it has nothing to do with the official position of the Congress party,” Gandhi said during a presser in Jammu city.

Gandhi also used the occasion to lash out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), accusing them of being averse to any discussion or conversation within their party ranks. The Congress leader said that it was because of the encouragement of conversation within his party that sometimes “extreme views” are put forward.

“We are a democratic party and not a dictatorship. We don’t run our party with the principles of coercion. We do not appreciate what Singh has said, but the views of the party are above his view, which is generated from the discussions within the party,” he added.

The former Congress president assured that these views are not held by the centre of the party and claimed that they are “crystal clear” that the armed forces do their job well and do not have to prove anything.

The senior Congress leader claimed that it was the Congress party which helped India in its freedom struggle and was responsible for creating all the institutions.

“This nation was formed on the philosophy of Congress. When we were fighting against the Britishers, BJP and RSS were standing with them. And their ideology and their leaders like VD Savarkar gave the two-nation theory,” he argued.

Responding to a query regarding remarks made by Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Gandhi pointed out that the BJP and the RSS are responsible for spreading “hatred” and dividing the country into the lines of caste, region and religion, something that is harming the country and defaming the nation globally.

“You can find how globally people are asking about what has happened to the traditional values of India. What has happened to the brotherhood and strength under the current government? So the defamation is being done by the ideology of the BJP and the RSS,” he said.

He also reiterated that in Jammu and Kashmir, the main issue was the restoration of statehood. He called for the restoration of the Assembly and the vibrancy in the democratic set-up.

Gandhi, who has been on the 3,800 km long march since September 7, beginning his campaign from Tamil Nadu’s southernmost area of Kanyakumari, is close to his final destination in the Union territory. He was also joined today by famous Bollywood actress Urmila Martondkar.

The yatra is expected to reach Srinagar city in the coming days, where he will address the grand rally after hoisting the Indian tricolour. Gandhi met a Kashmiri Pandit delegation on Monday and was scheduled to meet a delegation from Ladakh, where many socio-political and religious organisations have united to demand constitutional safeguards along the lines of the Sixth Schedule.

Gandhi said that the yatra has achieved something “powerful and fundamental” and showed that there are two visions for India.

“One is hate-filled, arrogant and cowardly vision whilst the other is love-filled, embracing the brave vision, and it has made these two visions absolutely clear,” he said.

He also said that the truth cannot be hidden and always comes out despite banning or suppressing the press.

“You can use CBI, ED but the truth is truth, it shines bright, it has a nasty habit of coming out, so no amount of banning and oppression and freighting is going to stop the truth from coming out,” he said while answering a question about the ongoing row over a BBC documentary.

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