From the people’s House to the people’s court.
If the Prime Minister was really among those who were “deeply pained” — as he had claimed — by a blunt assertion by Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha mid-week, Narendra Modi will need a balm factory if he steps out now.
“You (Modi) spent two minutes talking about the murder of Bharat Mata (in Manipur). How dare you do this?”
“How can you disrespect the idea of India?”
“What have you been doing for the last four months?”
“Why have you not been there?”
“Why have you not tried to stop the violence?”
“Because you are not a nationalist.”
“Anybody who murders the idea of India is not a nationalist.”
“Anybody who murders India cannot love India.”
Rahul, the re-qualified MP, returned to his resurrected Lok Sabha constituency, Wayanad in Kerala, raining question after question on Modi and affection as well
as gratitude on his constituents.
Rahul resolved to bring the people of Manipur back as a family by healing the wounds inflicted by the continuing violence. Even if it takes longer than it took the BJP’s policies to destroy the state and its peace, he added.
The reinstated MP told a massive public meeting organised by the Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kalpetta, the district headquarters of Wayanad, that no effort would be spared to ensure the people of Manipur are back as a family.
“Thousands and thousands of families have been destroyed by the policies of the BJP. They destroyed the families and the relationship between the people,” Rahul said.
“You (the BJP) think you have divided and destroyed Manipur. We will bring Manipur back together. We will bring love back to Manipur. We will bring mutual respect back to Manipur,” he declared.
“It took two months (for them) to burn Manipur. It might take us five years to bring back Manipur, but we will do it. This is a fight between the BJP and the Congress,” Rahul said, cheered on by thousands who had gathered to listen to him.
He cited his own relationship with the people of Wayanad who stood by him even after he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.
“The BJP and RSS do not understand what a family is. They don’t understand that the more they try to separate you and me, the closer we will become. They think if they disqualify Rahul Gandhi, his relationship with Wayanad will break. No. If you disqualify Rahul Gandhi, his relationship with Wayanad will become even stronger,” he said.
Rahul thanked the people of Wayanad for being there for him even after he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.
“What is a family? A family is something that protects you, that looks after you in your difficult times, that shows you affection, that shows you respect. This is what you have done for me. You have protected me, you have given me love, you have given me affection, you have given me respect,” he told the people of Wayanad who elected him to the Lok Sabha in 2019.
He recalled his painful experience in Manipur where he met the victims of the violence who lost everything, including their loved ones. “I have been in politics for 19 years and I have never experienced what I experienced in Manipur,” said the Congress leader.
“Somebody’s house has been burned, somebody’s sister has been raped, somebody’s family members are killed. It is as if somebody threw kerosene all across Manipur and set it on fire,” he recounted from his first-hand experience in Manipur.
Rahul underscored the theme of the callous image the Prime Minister projected while speaking about Manipur in the Lok Sabha.
“There is murder everywhere. There is rape everywhere. That is the situation in Manipur. And a few days ago I sat in Parliament watching the Prime Minister speak. He spoke for 2 hours and 13 minutes. He laughed, he joked, he smiled. His cabinet laughed. His cabinet joked and his cabinet smiled. They had a lot of fun.”