“I Will Do ‘Tukde-Tukde’ Of The BJP”: Congress’s Kanhaiya Kumar To NDTV

Kanhaiya Kumar said Rahul Gandhi was a "honest and fearless leader" and wanted the truth to prevail.

New Delhi: 

Former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who joined the Congress this week, on Friday flipped the BJP’s catchphrase of “Tukde Tukde gang”, saying that he firmly believed the party can be defeated in elections and he would see to it.

“The BJP calls me ‘Tukde-Tukde gang.’ I am ‘Tukde-Tukde’ for the BJP, and I will do ‘Tukde-Tukde‘ of BJP. This party considers Godse the father of the nation, not Gandhi. They only praise Gandhi in front of [US President Joe] Biden,” he told NDTV in an interview.

Stemming from allegations of “anti-national” slogans raised during a 2016 event at Delhi’s premier Jawaharlal Nehru University when he was president of the students’ union that are yet to be proven in any court, Mr Kumar has been frequently given the secessionist label by the BJP and its supporters.

Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah a “Nathuram-banai jodi” in reference to Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi and a hero for many right-wing groups affiliated to the BJP, Mr Kumar said the party’s ideology was openly against the father of the nation.

“Like many other youngsters, I feel that it is getting late. The party which has the legacy of winning freedom for the country, to save that freedom, that party must be the strongest. Those who are focussed only on their political career are joining BJP today,” he said.

Mr Kumar also stood in defence of his new party’s leadership that has faced searing criticism from within in the wake of a series of crises in states that it governs and an exodus of prominent leaders.

“Criticism of the Congress leadership helps the BJP… Everybody understands that when the country’s biggest opposition party is Congress, the more successful Congress will be, the bigger the defeat BJP will face,” he said.

“All other opposition parties are regional parties. Congress is the only opposition force with a national presence. It always had the potential… (The BJP) can absolutely be defeated… If I did not think they could be defeated, I would have quit the fight,” Mr Kumar said.

“My interactions with Rahul Gandhi made me feel that he is a compassionate leader… always asked me about my mother’s well-being, my father’s health. I really appreciate that about him and these are the qualities that attract me. He is sincere, there is a sincerity in his fight. He is a fearless leader who wants the truth to prevail,” he said.

After nearly two decades of association with the Left, Kanhaiya Kumar joined the Congress on Tuesday at a time when the party has been battling internal strife ranging from its handling of infighting in states like Punjab to comments critical of the leadership by veterans like Kapil Sibal.

Mr Kumar said his shift to the Congress mirrored the transition of Indian politics from Left of Centre to the Right of Centre, and that he appreciated the party remained one where senior leaders can have dramatically divergent views.


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