Kharge Accuses BJP of Trying to Break India Amidst India-Bharat Name Controversy
Thekwa : Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday asked why the BJP has triggered the India-Bharat row and accused it of trying to break the country. He asserted that the Congress is engaged in uniting Bharat.
If the BJP hates the word 'India', then why has it come up with schemes like Startup India', Digital India', Skill India' and Make in India', asked Kharge.
He was speaking at Bharose Ka Sammelan', an event organised here in poll-bound Chhattisgarh by the Congress government, at Thekwa village of Rajnandgaon district.
Kharge said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should see the work of the Bhupesh Baghel government in the state to know how it can be done in five years, even as he attacked the Centre over the recent raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the state.
We have formed an alliance INDIA for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and now BJP is saying the country's name India should be changed to Bharat. There is both India and Bharat in the Constitution itself. Then why are they triggering a dispute over it, Kharge said.
Kharge said the BJP claims that the Congress is against calling India Bharat. "We love Bharat. Rahul ji took out a foot march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and named the yatra Bharat Jodo. We are engaged in uniting Bharat and you (BJP) are engaged in breaking it, he said.
Assembly elections in the Congress-governed Chhattisgarh are due by the year-end.
If you (BJP) hate India', then why have Modi ji coined names like Startup India', Digital India', Khelo India' and Make in India'? We have to fight against this mentality (of BJP), he said.
The name change controversy erupted after invitations for a G20 dinner in New Delhi sent out by Droupadi Murmu, describing her position as 'President of Bharat' instead of the customary 'President of India', triggered a massive furore on Tuesday. The opposition alleged the Modi government was planning to drop India and stay with just Bharat as the country's name.
Hitting out at the PM, Kharge said, He is not even looking at violence-hit Manipur. On the other hand, the G20 summit is being held (in Delhi) where every pole has his photos (posters of PM). Neither photographs of his ministers nor Mahatma Gandhi or Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru feature on these posters. Does everything belong to him?
He slammed the Centre for renaming the Nehru Memorial Museum as the Prime Ministers' Museum and Library Society.
Don't know why they hate Nehru ji who laid the foundation of democracy. He spent 14 years in jail. They (BJP) should keep in mind that others will do the same if they come (to power), said the Congress president.
Kharge said his party is always concerned about the welfare of the poor and not names. We enacted the Food Security Act and Right to Education Act but not named them (after our leaders). We named MNREGA (rural job guarantee scheme) but it was after the name of the Father of the Nation' (Mahatma Gandhi), he said.
Hailing the Congress-ruled state government, he said, There was a BJP government in Chhattisgarh for 15 years. Modi was in Gujarat for 13.5 years as CM and now 10 years as PM but the condition of Gujarat remains the same.
Why did you not do the work which the Congress government has done in 5 years in Chhattisgarh? It is because you (PM) don't care for the poor rather you care for the rich like Ambani and Adani.
Referring to the state, he said it is not Modi's Gujarat model but the model of the Congress, Bhupesh Baghel and his cabinet. Modi ji should see the work of Baghel government then only he can realise how work can be done in five years, he said during his speech at Thekwa.
The village falls in Rajnandgaon assembly constituency which is being held by BJP national vice-president and former chief minister Raman Singh.
Kharge also targeted the Centre over the recent ED raids in different cases across Chhattisgarh.
The raids were carried out during the Congress' plenary session (in February) in Raipur. They didn't wait even for a day as they wanted to defame the Congress government and threaten our leaders. They just wanted to show if anyone is against them then they will be hounded by ED and CBI, he said.
However, the people of Chhattisgarh won't be scared and they will put up a fight, Kharge said.
If we were scared we would not have fought for the country's independence. If we were scared, Indira ji and Rajiv ji would not have sacrificed their lives. We protect the Constitution, poor and women, he added.
Appealing to the people to remain "cautious" about the BJP, Kharge said nowadays even those who write and speak against the Centre are being framed. Either they are given notices or put in jail, he claimed.
He also asked the BJP-led Centre to speak about a report by national auditor CAG flagging a Rs 7 lakh crore scam. CM Baghel, his cabinet colleagues and senior party leaders were present at the event.
Of the six assembly seats in the undivided Rajanandgaon district, the Congress had won four in the 2018 polls. One seat each was won by BJP's Raman Singh and Devvrat Singh of Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J). After the demise of Devvrat Singh, Congress wrested his seat (Khairagarh) in the bypoll.
The Congress government has carved out two new districts Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki and Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandai of Rajanandgaon, which now has four assembly seats.
In the 2018 polls, Congress won 68 of the total 90 seats, while the BJP finished a distant second at 15. The JCC (J) bagged five segments and its ally BSP 2. The Congress currently has 71 members in the House.