Step on accelerator, or be thrown out

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(Rahul Gandhi, along with other party leaders, addresses the media on the Bihar results . (Photo: Pritam Bandyopadhyay)

Taking a dig at Mr Narendra Modi over the NDA’s setback in Bihar, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that the Prime Minister should “step on the accelerator or people will throw him out of the driver’s seat”.

Mr Gandhi, who said that the poll verdict signified the defeat of the “divisive agenda of the BJP and RSS”, however, steered clear of questions on whether the Congress would enter into alliances in other states headed for elections like it had done in Bihar.He also declined to comment on whether his party would participate in the new government under Nitish Kumar.

“Since Modiji has become Prime Minister, there have been only promises. Start the work. One year has passed and your car is not starting. “Press the accelerator. If you fail to press the accelerator, like Bihar, the people of the country will open the door and throw you out (of the driver’s seat),” a beaming Mr Gandhi told reporters at the AICC headquarters here as party workers celebrated the Bihar verdict.

Mr Gandhi also wanted the Prime Minister to either “give up or tone down his arrogance”, noting that it would benefit not only the country but Mr Modi too. He also advised the Prime Minister to give up his foreign tours and talk about Pakistan and instead reach out to the farmers, labourers and unemployed youth to whom he had promised jobs.

“The message from Bihar is echoing all over, which is that the Prime Minister should listen and try to understand… Modi, BJP and RSS cannot divide this country. Cannot win elections by pitting Hindus against Muslims. The nation belongs to all,” Mr Gandhi asserted. Targeting Mr Modi, Mr Gandhi lamented the way the Prime Minister had canvassed for votes, saying that it neither enhances either his prestige or that of the country.

“This is a victory of unity over divisiveness. Humility over arrogance. Love over hate. A victory of the people of Bihar,” he said in a series of tweets. Coming out strongly in support of Mr Kumar, he said the JD(U) leader was the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate and under him, Bihar would continue to witness development.

Meanwhile, asked whether the Congress would participate in the government, he merely said it was an internal issue which would be deliberated upon and that he cannot answer such queries at a press conference. Later, Mr Gandhi spoke to Mr Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and congratulated them over the decisive victory. “Spoke to @NitishKumar ji & @laluprasadrjd ji — congratulated them on the Mahagathbandhan’s decisive victory,” he tweeted.



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