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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Remote-Controls Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik: Rahul Gandhi

Patnaik is autocratic, but he is not as hate-filled as Modi, the Congress chief said.


Updated:January 25, 2019, 5:33 PM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Remote-Controls Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik: Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi speaks at 'The Odisha Dialogue' in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

Bhubaneshwar: Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being autocratic, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday claimed that the entire Union Cabinet disagreed with the PM, but not one of them has the guts to speak up.

Gandhi said that unlike the Congress, which has a dynamic process and always listens to people, Modi thinks he knows everything, and hence, there is no scope for feedback with him in power. “This is the basic difference between us and BJP,” he said while holding an interactive session at 'The Odisha Dialogue' in Bhubaneswar.

Painting the BJP and the ruling BJD in Odisha with the same brush, Gandhi said both leaders followed the same model – that is the ‘Gujarat model’, under which “industrialists pay for the marketing of the chief minister”, and in return get to have a say in government policies.

Comparing Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik to Modi, Rahul said, ‘At the Centre, we are fighting against PM Modi. In Odisha, we are fighting against a version of PM Modi… BJD model and BJP model are the same.”

He accepted that the Congress did not have the perfect system, and often its dialogue process can be chaotic, or seem chaotic, because “the party tries to speak to all stakeholders”, be it the backward classes, Dalits, tribals, the middle class or industrialists.

The Congress chief said that his model was that people know more about their state than him and he should learn from them. “When we run a state, we listen to the people. That's not how Mr Modi or Mr Naveen Patnaik think,” he said.

He claimed that there was a tacit understanding between Modi and Patnaik. “Modi has leverage over Patnaik due to corruption cases, and Patnaik tacitly supports Modi. Patnaik is autocratic, but he is not as hate-filled as Modi,” Gandhi said.

Slamming the NDA government at the Centre, he said that India needs to compete with China but has fallen far behind in job creation. “A large part of our education is not job-oriented,” he said, adding that the government needs to pour more resources into the education system.

“What has happened in the last five years is devastating to the country. The monopolization and capture of the education system as well as the healthcare system needs to be challenged. The thinking that for a poor and middle-class person should have to pay lakhs and lakhs of rupees to pay for good quality education. It is the exact same in healthcare. This is not good,” he added.

Lambasting the BJP for attacking the autonomy of institutions, Gandhi said that currently there was only one institution in the country – the RSS, which he described as the “mothership of the BJP”.

“Go to North Block, everyone will say their OSDs are under the direct employment of Nagpur,” he claimed.

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