“Most of the country runs like this. That’s how India works. Dynastic politics is a problem in all political parties. Akhilesh (Yadav), (MK) Stalin and even (actor) Abhishek Bachchan are dynasts. Even (Prem Kumar) Dhumal’s son (Anurag Thakur) is a dynast, so don’t go just after me,” Rahul said at the event.
The Congress leader also conceded that his party may have become susceptible to “arrogance” in 2012, two years before it lost power at the Centre to the BJP. “Around 2012, a certain arrogance crept into the Congress and they stopped having conversations with the people,” he said.
More importantly, the Congress leader said he was ready to take charge of the party in 2019 when the next Lok Sabha elections will be held.
Recalling the assassinations of his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress leader said no one understands violence better than him. “I lost my grandmother and father to violence. If I don’t understand violence, who will? The idea of non-violence is under attack today, yet it is the only idea which can take humanity forward,” he said.
“Hatred, anger and violence can destroy us. The politics of polarisation is very dangerous,” he said.
Taking on the BJP and the Narendra Modi government, Rahul said the Prime Minister had clamped down on RTI Act which was much more transparent during Congress rule.
Speaking about demonetisation, the Congress vice-president lashed out at the Modi government saying the decision of demonetisation was taken without consulting either the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) or the Parliament, resulting in severe damage across sectors.
Continuing with his criticism over demonetisation, Rahul Gandhi highlighted the fact that the decision has done no good to the nation; millions of jobs were lost.
In a word of rare praise for the PM, however, Rahul called him a “good communicator”. “He is my Prime Minister too. He is a very good communicator. His messaging ability is very subtle and effective. But he does not converse with the people he works with.”
Talking of the current political set-up in India, Rahul said power should be given back to the MPs. “Today, there is no power in Parliament. Power is outside the House and with the PMO and ministers. We need to give this power back to the lawmakers.”
Reacting to Rahul Gandhi’s speech, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said it was the Congress leader’s “frustration” speaking.
Astonishing that Congress VP, Rahul Gandhi goes to US and slams his own Country,India ..It's frustration of Rahul speaking..Deplorable!— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) September 12, 2017
Rahul Gandhi is on a two-week trip to the US. His address at the University of California, Berkeley on the subject 'India at 70 — Reflections on the Path Forward' was the first stop in the visit.
In the coming days he is expected to meet US politicians with whom he will discuss policy and bilateral issues, PTI reported.