Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday addressed the University of California, Berkeley and spoke on various issues including terrorism, the arrogance in Congress party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Speaking about politics and regional parties in Kashmir, Rahul Gandhi said that People’s Democratic People (PDP) which is running a coalition government with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was instrumental in bringing youngsters in politics, but the day PM Narendra Modi made alliance with PDP, he destroyed them the party. 

Hitting out at Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi said, “PM Modi massively opened up space for the terrorists in Kashmir, and you saw the increase in violence.”

“PM Modi clamped down on Right to Information (RTI). He shut it down. We got in trouble as we dramatically increased transparency,” Rahul Gandhi said. 

Apart from criticising at the Prime Minister, the Congress vice-president said, “PM Modi has certain skills, he is a very good communicator, much better than me. He knows how to give a message to 3-4 different groups in a crowd, so his messaging ability is very effective and subtle.”

“What I sense is he doesn’t converse with people he works with, even members of Parliament and BJP tell me that,” Rahul Gandhi said. 

Speaking about the situation of his own party, Rahul Gandhi said, “Around 2012, arrogance crept into Congress party and we stopped having conversations with people.” 

Rahul Gandhi also blamed the BJP and PM Modi to malign his image as a politician. He said, “Tremendous machine, all day they spread abuse about me, and the operation is run by the gentleman who is running our country.”

“There is a BJP machine, about 1000 guys sitting on computers and telling you about me,” Rahul Gandhi added.

Throwing some light on the dynastic politics, Rahul Gandhi said, “Most of the country runs like this, so don’t go after me, Akhilesh Yadav a dynast, Mr Stalin a dynast, Mr Dhumal’s son a dynast.”

Responding to taking the executive role in the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi said, “I am absolutely ready for that, but our party works according to organisational elections.”

Rahul Gandhi is also expected to attend various events in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington and New York.  The Congress vice-president will be meeting few important people. 

“He will be addressing a major event in New York organised by the Indian Overseas Congress on September 20,” Sam Pitroda, chairman of Overseas Congress said.

Here are the highlights of Rahul Gandhi’s address at the University of California, Berkeley

  • By 2013, we basically broke the back of terror, I hugged PM Manmohan Singh and told him it was one of the biggest achievements.
  • When we started, terrorism was rampant in Kashmir, when we finished there was peace, we had broken the back of terrorism.
  • For 9 years I worked behind the scenes with PM Manmohan Singh,P Chidambaram,Jairam Ramesh and others on J&K
  • I lost my father,my grandmother to violence, if I don’t understand violence then
  • I am with them in their quest for justice, violence again anybody I strongly condemn: Rahul Gandhi on ’84 riots
  • Core constituency of right wing leaders are those who cannot get a job
  • Around 2012, arrogance crept into Congress party and we stopped having conversations with people.
  • Congress decides policy and vision through conversations and not by imposition.
  • I am with them in their quest for justice, violence again anybody I strongly condemn: Rahul Gandhi on ’84 riots
  • Unlike China, India has to create jobs in a democratic environment: Rahul Gandhi in #UCBerkeley
  • Decisions like demonetisation taken without asking Chief Economic Advisor and Parliament caused tremendous damage.
  • Hatred, anger and violence can destroy us, the politics of polarisation is very dangerous.
  • Idea of non-violence is under attack today, yet it is only idea which can take humanity forward.
  • Small & medium entrepreneurs are the bedrock of India’s economic progress.
  • There is no democratic country in history which has raised so many people out of poverty as India.
  • Indira Gandhi was asked whether India will switch ‘Left or Right’. She said it will stand straight and tall.
  • Idea of non violence or ahimsa is what has allowed this mass of people (India) to rise together.

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