London: Rahul Gandhi has said that people support populist leaders like US president Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi because they are angry over not having jobs, as the Congress president stepped up his attack on the BJP and the RSS.
Interacting with Indian Journalists’ Association here, Gandhi said that instead of solving the problem, these leaders ride on that anger and damage the country.
“People support populist leaders like Mr Trump and Mr Modi because they are angry that they don’t have a job. Instead of solving this problem these leaders ride on that anger. They damage the country by this,” he said.
Earlier, Gandhi had said India was facing a “full blown crisis” of unemployment and the government was refusing to admit it.
During an interaction programme at the prestigious London School of Economics here, he had said that when China creates 50,000 jobs a day, only 450 jobs are created in a day in India. This is a catastrophe.
The Congress president said there is a systematic attempt to impose one ideology on the country, the ideology coming straight from Nagpur.
There are attempts to centralise power. Gandhi again maintained that “there is a lot of similarity between Muslim Brotherhood and RSS. They use democratic processes to capture power”.
The Muslim Brotherhood is the oldest political Islamist group in the Arab world. It is banned and declared as a terrorist organisation by the governments of several countries.
He said that “both the organisations were formed in the 1920s, both believe in institutional capture and both were banned, particularly the RSS was banned after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination”.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said in New Delhi that the likes of president Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who died last week, have an RSS background and Gandhi’s comparison of the organisation with an Islamist outfit is “unforgivable”.
He demanded immediate apology from the Congress president for likening the choice of Indians in an election with an organisation which, the BJP leader said, is declared a terror outfit in many countries.
On Vijay Mallaya, Gandhi said that Indian prisons are “pretty decent” while commenting on his ongoing extradition case.
“Indian prisons are pretty decent as far as Mr. Mallya is concerned,” he said.
In July, Mallya appeared before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London where both defence and prosecution presented clarifications on Barrack 12 at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai, where Mallya is to be held post-extradition.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot asked the Indian authorities to submit within three weeks a video of the Barrack 12 of the Arthur Road Jail.
Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya is currently undergoing an extradition trial in a UK court over fraud and money laundering charges by Indian authorities.
Mallya is separately fighting extradition to India on fraud and money laundering charges worth an estimated Rs 9,000 crores.
Asked whether he supported attempts to ban books, Gandhi said: “I don’t believe in banning books unless there is a clear indication that it would lead to violence”.
Asked about the Congress’ strategy for 2019 general elections, Gandhi said “the opposition in our conversation is very clear that the first and most important challenge is to stop the RSS, the BJP from attacking and destroying Indian state and institutions.
“There is absolute acceptance and unity on that point. We are not getting into any conversation that distracts us from that goal”.