IANS Interview: Congress Has Turned Anti-Sanatan, Anti-National, Says Rohan Gupta

(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Rohan Gupta, a former Congress leader from Gujarat and a known face on TV debates who recently jumped ship to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is miffed over the grand old party's disregard for Sanatan Dharma, as well as for his constant 'humiliation' and 'character assassination' at the hands of the top Congress leadership.

Gupta withdrew his candidature from the Ahmedabad East Lok Sabha constituency, for which the Congress had given him the ticket, and then joined the BJP days later.

In an exclusive interview with IANS, Gupta revealed the reasons behind snapping ties with the Congress, his new political innings, and how leaders of the grand old party feel 'suffocated' over the Congress' penchant for 'belittling and insulting' Sanatan Dharma.

He said that Congress has adopted a 'hostile' approach towards nationalism and sees every national issue with the prism of negativity and pessimism.

He told IANS that the Congress' ideology has turned 'directionless' as it is aligning with 'anti-India' forces and then coining the name of its alliance as INDIA bloc.

When asked about the reasons for switching allegiance after a 15-year stint with Congress, he said it was a difficult decision, but eventually he took the plunge to fulfill his desire of making 'valuable' contributions to the society.

“I didn't enter politics for personal benefits. I had a strong will and desire to serve the society, and to contribute to the welfare of people. In all these years, whatever responsibilities were entrusted upon me by the party, I strived hard to achieve them. However, after years of working for the party, its directionless vision and inner contradictions made me disillusioned,” Gupta said.

Accusing the Congress' top leadership of hatching a conspiracy, he said that despite being a committed party soldier, he was unfairly targeted at a time when he faced a big personal crisis.

“As my father's health worsened, I decided to withdraw my nomination and not contest the Lok Sabha elections. But the party doubted my intentions, which hurt me deeply. To save my self-respect, I was forced to take this step with a heavy heart,” he said.

He also claimed that the Congress leaders were told to stay mum on Sanatan Dharma when distasteful and derogatory remarks were made against it.

On the Congress declining the invitation for the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22, Gupta said the grand temple was built after a go-ahead from the Supreme Court and the party's stand was 'beyond comprehension' for many top-rung leaders of the Congress.

When questioned about the reason behind Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi opting out of the Pran Pratishtha ceremony, Gupta slammed the party's Communications Department for 'misguiding' the top leadership.

“Many Congress leaders were against the stand to boycott the event in Ayodhya as they feared a big backlash over the move, but they had to toe the party line in the end,” Gupta told IANS.

He also said that the Ram Temple became an election issue because the Congress denied the religious beliefs of crores of citizens.

“Had the Congress leaders attended the Pran Pratishtha ceremony, the controversy wouldn't have risen. But, the party leaders betrayed the majority by boycotting the event. Lord Ram represents the belief of India, which can't be denied,” he said.

Gupta also slammed the Congress for its contradictory stand on industrialists and businessmen.

“They hurl abuses at businessmen in press conferences and then the states ruled by the party sign memorandum with these businessmen. This exposes the party's double standards,” he said.

Listing the Congress' 'contradictions', Gupta said the party calls itself the voice of India but chooses to align with parties like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has been accused by the Congress of having links with the separatist forces.

Speaking on Congress' opposition to the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Gupta said the party cries foul when it loses elections, but forgets when it wins.

He also took on the Congress on the old pension scheme (OPS) issue, saying the party gave it a miss in its manifesto despite making it a big issue in state elections.

Gupta also accused the Congress of being dominated by parties with an anti-India mindset.

“The Congress has stitched alliances with Mehbooba Mufti and the Left parties, whom they had accused of working with an anti-India mindset. How can it expect people to cast votes in its favour,” asked Gupta.

Asked about the 'exodus' of leaders from the Congress, he told IANS that the party doesn't even bother to address the grievances of such leaders.

Sharing a personal experience, Gupta said when his father was suffering from acute illness, the party leadership hatched a conspiracy to remove him as the party spokesperson.

Sharing his views on the 10 years of Modi government, Gupta said the Prime Minister's vision and slew of ground-breaking initiatives are laying the foundation for brisk and robust growth.

“PM Modi works round the clock. His vision for development is diverse, ranging from road infrastructure to waterways to Gaganyaan. Thrust on increasing defence exports, developing artificial intelligence-based operations, and setting up huge semiconductor units show the government's resolve to take India to the next level of growth.

"India has already moved from the 'Fragile Five' to 'Top Five' and is now headed towards the top three economies in the world. There couldn't have been a better time for me to join this mission,” he said.

“I am here to contribute to politics and not draw personal gains from it,” he added.

Gupta also said that the Congress will sooner or later fall flat because of its 'directionless and leaderless' approach.



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