New Delhi/Dubai: Hours after the SP and BSP announced their alliance without the Congress in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said his party will fight the elections in the state with "full capacity" and stick to its ideology.
Addressing a press conference in Dubai, Gandhi said he has "tremendous respect" for the leaders of the two parties and "they have a right to do what they want to do".
"The BSP and SP have every right to have an alliance. I think the Congress party has a tremendous amount to offer to the people of Uttar Pradesh so we will do our best as the Congress party and we will fight with full capacity to spread our ideology."
"BSP and SP have made a political decision. It's on us on how to strengthen the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh and we will fight with our full capacity," he said.
Once arch-rivals, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party announced on Saturday their tie-up in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, sharing 38 seats each and keeping the Congress out of the alliance. The parties, however, said they would not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by the Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.Attacking the Modi government on rising intolerance, Gandhi said like the UAE, which had declared 2019 as the 'Year of Tolerance', India also believes and celebrates tolerance but "there is a little bit of aberration going on in India where BJP is being very aggressive, intolerant and attacking and destroying our institutions."
He said it is a "temporary blip" which will be "taken care of" after the 2019 elections.
Replying to a question, he said, "RSS thinks that voice of the people is irrelevant. One of the reason why we will win 2019 elections is that there is a massive response coming from bureaucrats and institutions saying we are not going to accept this."
He said the Modi government is "attacking the strength of India by strangling our institutions". "We will start to do what Congress party has successfully done; put India on an economic path," he said.
"The government is failing and we have a massive unemployment crisis. Demonetisation by PM Modi was a rash and irresponsible action. He was directly responsible for the decimation of the informal sector."
He said bringing businesses to India is fundamentally connected to the environment of the country.
"India is facing a 14-year low with regard to investments flow in India. The central reason is a couple of ill-advised economic policies like demonetisation and poorly designed GST and also the atmosphere that is being vitiated. India is known for non-violence and its peace-loving nature when people look at India and see violence they get worried. We will put an end to the anger that has been spread by the BJP," he said.
"We will rebuild trust in our institutions like RBI, ECI, Supreme Court who are under systematic attack by the Modi govt," he said.
Gandhi said if the Congress will come to power it will take some rational economic decisions and restructure the GST and bring investments from the Middle East and other parts of the world.
Asked about Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's overtures to start bilateral talks, Gandhi said, " I am all for peaceful relationship with Pakistan, but, I will absolutely not tolerate violence being carried out on innocent Indians by the Pakistani State." "You cannot carry out acts of terror in India and expect India to talk kindly to you," he said.