NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi on Sunday asserted that Congress will win in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, and has a strong chance of returning to office in Rajasthan, even as he claimed that the cohesion in the opposition INDIA bloc was unprecedented and seat-sharing was pending in just some small states. He said the “BJP is in for a big surprise” in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Speaking at a conclave of Pratidin Media Network of Assam, Rahul said the opposition realised that it was no longer fighting a political party but the “financial and media attack” revolving around a “friendly monopolist”, and BJP was “generating a huge amount of money from this”. He added that any businessman, who stood up to this “monopoly” or supported the opposition, faced destruction under the present regime.
“I have not seen the opposition working like this before. We can sit down and say, ‘we don’t agree with you on that, etc’, and then find a compromise. There is a great deal of flexibility. We know what is at stake. It is to defend the soul of India… the concept of India, free elections, free speech are under mortal threat. We are not fighting a political party, but the Indian state,” Rahul said.
The Congress leader underlined that the opposition was “controlling the narrative” in MP and Chhattisgarh, and also in Telangana “where the BJP is decimated”. He said this had happened despite the BJP trying to distract from crucial issues like “caste census” through acts like statements of Ramesh Bidhuri (communal slurs at Danish Ali) and MP Nishikant Dubey, or through discussions like “one nation one poll” and “Bharat-India name change”. He said the special session of Parliament was also devised to distract from the Adani issue.
The Gandhi scion said Congress had learnt to duck the distractions, like it did in Karnataka, by giving a clear vision to states — “we are going to give this social security structure to you”. “We are adapting and learning, and we are doing well,” he added.
To queries on the north-east, Rahul clarified that there would be no tie-up with AIUDF of Assam. He rubbished the fact that four N-E states were run by regional parties, arguing, “They are all ruled by the BJP through the coercive power of the Indian state.” He said he wanted those regional parties to join the INDIA group, terming them as “not happy partners” of the BJP.
The Wayanad MP said Bharat Jodo Yatra was a necessity because the mainstream media distorted whatever came out of the opposition. He said direct contact with people, a strategy “pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi in the modern era”, resulted in a “reverse media capture”.
According to him, the opposition will work to “transfer power to the people”, and a caste census was required to know the population share of the OBCs. He reiterated that the women’s quota bill should be implemented immediately by delinking it from census and delimitation, and by instituting the OBC sub-quota.

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