San Francisco: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi weighed into the proportion-per-population delimitation row while talking about the increased number of seats in the new Parliament House, which he said was a distraction as the real issues were unemployment that the BJP can’t discuss.
“I will have to look at exactly how they are thinking about doing it. One has to be very careful when one changes the representative structure of the country. I would be quite interested in understanding how they’ve come up with the number 800 and what are the criteria they are using,” Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday while interacting with the Indian diaspora here.
The former Lok Sabha MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said, “India is a conversation. It is a negotiation between its languages, people, histories and cultures. And that negotiation has to be fair. Meaning all parts of India, all states of India should feel that there is fairness in the process of negotiation.”
He said: “If I see how exactly they are coming up with 800 and what is the design then I would be able to answer if I agree with the number 800 but I have not seen how they have calculated it.
“It depends how the ratios change. It is currently based on population. I think the Parliament House is a distraction. The real issues in India are unemployment, price rise, spread of anger and hatred, crumbling educational system, price of health. BJP can’t really discuss these issues, that’s why they have to do this whole sceptre thing. Lying down and doing all that.”
During an interaction with the Indian community at the University of Santa Clara, he responded to a question about the provision of seating 888 in the newly inaugurated Parliament building and whether proportion to population was a fair way of ensuring representation.
Rahul Gandhi is on a six-day visit to the US and he will attend several programmes in California, New York and Washington D.C.
Rahul Gandhi also said that the best way to explain is — “it is nafrat ke bazaar me mohabbat ki dukan.
“It is felt most strongly by the Muslim community because it is done most directly to them, but in fact it is done to all minorities and the same way your feelings are attacked and I can guarantee the same feelings by Sikhs, Christians, Dalit and the poor,” he said, while responding to a question what hope he will give to the Muslims.
“Anybody who is poor in India today feels the same way, if he looks at the extreme wealth that a limited number of people have, he feels the same way in which you feel. That is what is going on, how is it that these five people have lakhs of crores, and I have nothing to eat. You feel it most because it is directed at you more directly but it is phenomena. And you cannot cut hatred with hatred, it is impossible you can only cut it with love and affection. And, how easy it was to erase hatred in India.
“I didn’t imagine that by holding a yatra it would have such an impact. The people don’t believe in hating each other, don’t believe in killing. This is a small group of people who have got control of the system, media and who are fully supported by big money,” he added.