In the Congress, the reach extended only as far as the veranda, according to Himanta Biswa Sarma, who claimed to have been in the dining room of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The chief minister of Assam claimed that it took him six months to adjust to the BJP’s emphasis on interpersonal ties.
Rahul Gandhi, according to Assam’s chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, is unfit for politics and lacks institutional seriousness. In the second instalment of “Podcast with Smita Prakash,” Sarma remarked regarding the Congress leader, “Everything starts with non-seriousness and then comes arrogance.” “This moment he is talking to you, the next moment he will go outside for jogging or in some other room, while you will keep waiting for him. And then he will arrive after half an hour,” the Assam chief minister and the former Congressman said.
The comments come as the Congress is set to choose the next president which has set off a crisis in Rajasthan.
“But most importantly, he has a big family like he is a feudal lord. Even today, he is not the Congress president but he takes all decisions. Why is the entire party behind you if you have taken the responsibility for the loss of the Lok Sabha election defeat?” the chief minister said.
“You have no post but you are exercising your power. You have had no post in UPA 1 or 2, but everybody was going to their house. You want to enjoy the power without accountability,” Sarma said.
‘My son was in Doon school and he told me…’
On leaving the Congress after being associated with the party for , Himanta Biswa Sarma said he was in two minds before quitting the party. “My son was in the same school in which Rahul Gandhi also studied. He was in Class 9. He said Rahul Gandhi was a former student of the school but the students discuss that none of Rahul Gandhi’s words impressed them. Then I thought that if this is what a Class 8-9 student thinks — who is otherwise not involved in politics – then it means you should not stay in the party at all,” Sarma said.
“Whenever a leader quits the party, they say you have betrayed the family. They won’t say you have betrayed the nation. But the nation made you an MP. But they think they made someone the MP,” the Assam CM said.
‘Your life starts and ends with Gandhi’
On the inside culture of the Congress, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that life starts and ends with Gandhi in the party. “It is like when you join a guru and you surrender everything to that guru. I don’t know who started this. But it is like that…when I joined the BJP and saw a sea of people in Guwahati welcoming me, I felt sorry that I stayed with the Congress for so long,” he said.
On Bharat Jodo
Commenting on Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra about which Himanta Biswa Sarma already made some controversial remarks, he said when a national political leader takes out such a foot march, it generally carries a lot of significance. “But talk about your vision of India in the next 25 years. You are only talking about the half pant of the RSS. You are venting out your anger. Then you are meeting some controversial pastor,” Himanta said.
‘In congress, our reach was till veranda’
Talking about BJP culture, Himanta Biswa Sarma said he and Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu had a culture shock after joining the BJP. “In the BJP, when a booth-level worker goes to meet a minister in Delhi, he or she gets warmth. You will not feel like you are meeting a feudal lord. In Congress what happens is that the Gandhi family is feudal, but other people also start copying that,” Himanta said.
“Especially those who are very close to the Gandhi family, they live in that reflected glory…the bodyguard and all…In Congress, we had the reach till the veranda and it’s not about the Gandhi family. It’s the hierarchy that works like that. I had some fortune and reached the drawing room of some people in the Congress. If you ask me I have been in the dining room of Amit Shah. And not only me, but many BJP leaders also have many personal stories with Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. But as a Congress person, I never had any such story,” Himanta said.