New Delhi, Mar 14: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused the BJP of “stealing” the mandate of people and “undermining democracy” in Goa and Manipur by using money power.
He alleged that the Goa Governor acted in a “partisan” manner.
“They are saying that it is okay for them to misuse the office of the Governor... In the two States where we won, democracy has been undermined by them [BJP] using financial power, money. That is what is happening. The mandate of the people of Goa and Manipur has been stolen by the BJP,” he told reporters outside Parliament.
Speaking out for the first time after the results of the elections to five States were declared on March 11, Mr. Gandhi said, “Our fight with the BJP is an ideological fight. What the BJP has done in Manipur and Goa is their ideology — and that is what we are fighting.”
“It is a question of how much the BJP has thrown to steal the mandate of people of Manipur and Goa. That is the question. It is not about how soon they went, but with how much money the BJP gave to steal the mandate of Goa and Manipur,” Mr. Gandhi said on queries as to why the Congress “delayed” staking claim for government formation.
He said a letter was issued in favour of Manohar Parrikar even before the Congress staked its claim.
“[Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun] Kharge ji showed me a letter of the Governor appointing Mr. Parrikar as Chief Minister before any floor test or anything happened. So it is difficult for us to stake claim if the Governor is already acting in a partisan manner,” he said.
On the BJP’s win in Uttar Pradesh, he said it was largely due to polarisation.
“I would like to say that the BJP won the elections in U.P. and I would like to congratulate them. Why they won it, there are multiple reasons. Large part of it is polarisation. But the fact is that they won the elections,” he said.
Stating that there are “ups and downs” for every party, he stressed, “We had a little down in U.P. which is fine, we accept it. But we have a ideological fight with the BJP and we will continue to do that.”
Mr. Gandhi said that in the five Assembly elections, the Congress formed its own government in Punjab and won the elections in Manipur and Goa. “That is not a bad result. It is true that we lost the election in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.”
In Punjab as well as other States, it is the regional leaders who fought the elections and won.
“They are the people who fight these elections and they are successful in Punjab, successful in Goa and in Manipur,” he said. PTI