Rahul Gandhi confident of sweeping polls


Rahul Gandhi confident of sweeping polls

Dubai - Gandhi said the coalition's priority would be to restore an atmosphere of tolerance in the country.


Issac John

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Published: Fri 11 Jan 2019, 10:44 PM

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, basking in the glow of his party's recent dramatic wins in crucial state elections, said the opposition coalition is firmly on track to regain power in the looming national polls.
Speaking to Khaleej Times as he embarks on a tour of the UAE today, Gandhi said the coalition's priority would be to restore an atmosphere of tolerance in the country. He said he was confident of drubbing the ruling front as "there is a tremendous amount of anger in the country".
"Our swing is actually bigger than Modi's swing in 2014. The vote share that has moved towards Congress in recent elections is bigger than the shift Modi created," said Gandhi, who will be addressing NRIs at the Dubai Cricket Stadium today evening.
Pledging a new era of defining reforms and openness to take India to the trajectory of growth and prosperity, Gandhi said the new government would restructure the GST.
"We will make it a true GST, one tax, and not five different taxes. We will change the design of the GST to make sure that small and medium businesses are not exhorted as at present."
Another priority of the coalition on coming back to power is to provide a transparent and corruption-free administration. "We will have a zero-tolerance policy to corruption. We have proved beyond shadow of doubt that Modi has helped Anil Ambani steal Rs300 billion from the Rafael deal."
Gandhi said demonetisation was also a scam. "It was not the innocent mistake that BJP would like us to believe. There are too many unanswered questions, and you can already see the signs of that scam."
He said a united opposition front is battle-ready for the polls. "We will contest Modi and we will defeat him. When I say we, I don't mean just the Congress - I mean the people of India," the Congress chief said.
"In the US, there is a saying: If it is not broken, don't fix it. Modi has taken something that was not broken, broke and destroyed it - the culture of love and affection, culture of togetherness."
On BJP's corruption charges against his party on the AugustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Gandhi said: "Look, we are in the opposition. The BJP is welcome to do any investigation they want. But realise that there is no joint parliamentary committee on Rafael. Modi is an excellent communicator. Let him come and sit with me and discuss Rafael for 15 minutes and defend himself. But I am sure he will not be able to sit on the chair next to me because we have the truth on our side," Gandhi said.
He said he was confident of forging a broader opposition alliance. "We differ with some of the parties. But we agree with them on a large number of fundamental matters.
These shared fundamental ideas include: We will not allow India's institutions to be destroyed and captured; we will not allow organisations - namely BJP and RSS - to determine the future of our country; we will not allow in India hatred towards castes, communities and religions; and we will not allow the prime minister to operate in an arbitrary fashion."

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