Interacting with hundreds of students here on the first day of his two-day tour of the state today, Rahul also told Madhurjya Sonowal of Dhemaji College hatred and unemployment have a direct relationship and the hatred the BJP has been brewing among communities was directly related to the growing unemployment in the country.
In reply to Sonowal’s question about the BJP government keeping its critics behind bars, Rahul said: “Confidence in opponents is what the BJP is scared of. The BJP government keeps its confident critics in jail because they are scared of the fact that one confident critic would inspire 10 others.”
“For instance, the confidence you have shown in asking me this questions is what the BJP is scared of. They say, if this confidence is spread, then we would not be able to control it. So, put him behind bars,” he elaborated.
“Have you ever seen your Assam chief minister or the prime minister facing the students like I am doing now? They cannot do it. Because, they don’t have the courage or confidence face the free-thinking students. It needs confidence and honesty to face the student community because they are unbiased and think liberally,” the Wayanad MP added.
Sonowal was referring to the death of students in police firing during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests and the arrest of several vocal critics of the government. Peasant leader Akhil Gogoi is still lodged in Guwahati Central Jail over the past 15 months.
When Sonowal asked about unemployment, Rahul said: “There is a direct relationship between hatred and unemployment. When hatred spreads, unemployment increases, the more there is employment, the there is less hatred. The difference between the Congress and BJP is Congress eliminates hatred, and BJP abets hatred.”
“Suppose two persons are fighting, can they do any business among themselves? For business, peace and harmony are needed. That’s what the Congress promotes and the BJP ensures its opposite,” he added.
Sonowal also asked Rahul why was the prime minister frequenting the state when there’s polls and he never did so when there were floods and Baghjan fire calamities in the state. Rahul replied in a one-liner saying: “What was there with you to give him at the time of calamities? But, now you have votes.”
He also advocated for maximum involvement of students and youth in active politics to fight for the rights of their people.
Denouncing the BJP for strangulating democracy in the country, Rahul said: “Democracy means voice of Assam should controlled in the state. If we don’t include students then there can be no democracy.”
He also reiterated the issues of tea labourers, privatisation of airports and other state assets and other issues.