New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi on Friday targetted Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he believes only in "marketing" and "symbolism" and concentrating all power in his hands in the belief that he can run the country alone.
Accusing the NDA government of treating democratic processes as "useless", the Congress Vice President said "Today (Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha) Mallikarjun Khargeji was speaking but the microphone was switched off."
"We never did this kind of thing. Their thinking is that the democratic process is useless and not required. They cannot say it outside but this is their thinking," Gandhi said.
Adressing an alumni meet of Youth Congress, Rahul charged BJP does not believe in democracy and on the contrary when there was UPA government at the Centre, leaders of opposition parties always got a chance to speak in parliament.
He also referred to the protest led by him in Parliament over the controversial remarks of union minister Niranjan Jyoti amid a stalemate between the government and the opposition on the issue.
He said while the programmes of UPA were eaimed at giving power to the people at large, those of NDA government "snatch power from people".
"This is the difference. The Prime Minister feels that he alone can run the country. He deeply believes in this. And this can never work. Only people of this country will run it...His thinking is of symbolism. Say anything, market it and then start saying the next thing. People will react to it," Gandhi said as he also sought to pick holes in the Prime Minister's Sansad Gram Yojana scheme. PTI
In the backdrop of Congress' defeat in a series of electoral battles, Rahul Gandhi admitted the party has "gone a bit away from people (Congress party janta se thodi door hui hai)."
"We have to change this in coming one of two year and connect the party with people and open its door for them," he said as he made a strong pitch for a bigger political role of youths in Congress saying his job is to get Youth Congress leaders into the parent party.
The party launches special pages for the event on Facebok and Twitter. One of the tweets on its page quoted Gandhi as saying that the Prime Minister wants "all power in his hands".
Calling the Youth Congress leaders as "testimony of the party youth wing's struggle, Gandhi said "my job is to get Youth Congress leaders into the parent Congress...People say that once they are out of Youth Congress, they do not get a place in the party organization
"...It is my job to rectify it. There has to be a coordination between Youth Congress and Congress".
He said there is a need to bring people from Youth Congress across the time span together.
"My effort will be to ensure that even those who were once in Youth Congress should feel that they are going to have a place in the parent organization...Our party is the party of Hindustan. It is not the party of any religion or region or any community," Gandhi said.
He urged the Youth Congress leaders to hit the streets and give a voice to the reaction by people to various steps being taken by the government including change in the wage component of MNREGA.
"Those whose jobs are being taken away will react. You will have to take this reaction forward and this will not happen with speeches. You will have to hit the streets," he said.
Party seniors Anand Sharma, Mukul Wasnik, Ramesh Chennithala, Manish Tewari, Randeep Surjewala and Ashok Tanwar attended the event along with other seniors like Oscar Fernandes and Ashok Gehlot who had been the in-charge of Youth Congress at some point.
Besides, some former and serving chief ministers, who had served as Youth Congress chiefs in their states, were also there.