Kohima, Jan 16,2024: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that the Pran Pratishtha ceremony on January 22 is “an election and political function” and that’s why the Congress has decided to skip the event in Ayodhya.
On the third day of his ongoing Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra (BJNY) which has now reached Nagaland, the Congress leader said that the event in Ayodhya is a political one as it is an RSS-BJP function.
“It is difficult for us (Congress) to attend the January 22 function because it is Modi’s function. They (BJP) always give election flavour to all events and developments, including religious ones. We respect all religions and all religions are the same to us,” Gandhi told the media.
He said that top Hindu religious leaders were also questioning the January 22 function as it has been mixed with politics and the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Asked about the ideology of the INDIA bloc, Rahul Gandhi said, “We do not want a divided India. We want a united India with no hatred. Dalit and other Backward Classes would also not be neglected. Their role in governance would get due importance.”
To another query, the Congress leader said that seat sharing talks between the INDIA bloc partners were going on smoothly.
“The status of the INDIA bloc is very good. I believe everything will be resolved smoothly. There are a few issues but in most places there are not many complications and the media has been overplaying some issues. There is mutual respect among INDIA bloc partners,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi said the alliance was getting ready and it would be well-prepared to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“The INDIA grouping will fight the elections against the BJP appropriately and win the polls,” the Congress leader stated.
Regarding the long-pending Naga political issue, the former Congress President said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given certain commitments nine years ago but they had not been fulfilled as yet.
To a question, Rahul Gandhi said if the INDIA bloc comes to power at the Centre in the forthcoming elections, it would try to resolve the Naga political issue through concerted talks and mutual understanding.
Noting that suitable solutions to the Naga political issue were required, Gandhi said that no progress had been made so far between the Government and the Naga groups and some superficial documents were prepared.
“We are committed to finding suitable solutions to the Naga political issue,” he said.
The 66-day-long BJNY, which started on Sunday from violence-ravaged Manipur will culminate in Mumbai on March 20 or 21. The yatra entered Nagaland late on Monday evening after covering Manipur’s tribal-dominated Kangpokpi and Senapati districts.
Hundreds of Congress supporters, including women, accorded the Congress leader a rousing reception on Monday evening in Nagaland’s Khuzama village, 28 km south of state capital Kohima.
The yatra will cover 257 kms in five districts of Nagaland in two days on Tuesday and Wednesday.