Rahul Gandhi – India TV
Rahul Gandhi – India TV

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Nyaya
Image Source : PTI Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra.

Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Jharkhand currently, said that he is perfectly okay with leaders like Himanta Biswa Sarma and Milind Deora leaving the grand old party as they do not align with the party’s ideology.

Sarma who had joined the BJP in 2014 is now the chief minister of Assam, while Deora joined the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena last month. Addressing the party’s ‘digital media warriors’ in West Bengal on Thursday night, Gandhi emphasised his commitment to defending the principles upheld by the Congress.

“I want people like Himanta (Biswa Sarma) and Millind (Deora) to leave. I am perfectly ok with it. Himanta represents a particular kind of politics, that’s not the politics of the Congress party,” he said. The Congress’ ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ led by Gandhi entered West Bengal from Assam on January 25. It is scheduled to reach Jharkhand on Friday.

“Have you heard some of the statements that Himanta had made about Muslims? I don’t want to have anything to do with them, as there are certain values I would like to defend,” he said. The resignation of former Union minister and ex-MP from Mumbai South, Milind Deora, marks the latest instance of leaders exiting the Congress to embark on new political journeys, especially towards the BJP.

Assam’s Congress minister Himanta Biswa Sarma joined the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh defected to the saffron party before the assembly polls in 2022, citing personal grievances with the party’s conduct. 

Commenting on recent assertions by BJP leaders regarding the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Gandhi denounced the legislation as a tool wielded by the BJP to foster division along religious lines. “These are instruments for the BJP. Their basic idea is to divide the country and create tension between religious communities,” he said.

Gandhi’s remarks come in the wake of union minister Shantanu Thakur’s declaration on January 29 that the CAA would be enforced nationwide within a week. Enacted by the BJP-led government at the Centre in 2019, the CAA aims to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim immigrants, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who entered India before December 31, 2014.

(With inputs from PTI)

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