GUWAHATI, March 15 - Unfazed by his party�s debacle in Uttar Pradesh, veteran Congress leader and former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today insisted that the poll results in Punjab, Goa and even Manipur prove that BJP�s �dream� of a Congress-mukt Bharat can never be realised.
�Such debacles are not new to us. We have faced them in the past. Even Indira Gandhi had lost. But then, we got the people�s trust again and bounced back,� Gogoi said at a press conference here.
Admitting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a �charisma� and has been a good strategist, Gogoi said there was a strong anti-incumbency factor in UP which the BJP exploited well to its favour.
Taking a swipe at the BJP for indulging in �horse-trading� in Manipur and Goa, Gogoi said, �Those who swear by the Gita are now indulging in such malpractices. What they say and do are contradictory. There is nothing worse than political corruption. They say they are fighting against back money, and now they are using black money to buy legislators. How can such legislators fight corruption?�
He also alleged that the party cannot indulge in such acts without the connivance of the Prime Minister and the Central leadership.
When reminded of the allegations that the Congress too had indulged in horse-trading in the 2010 Rajya Sabha elections in Assam, Gogoi said, �Yes, we did bring the people, but we did it openly. We did not do anything clandestinely like they are doing now�nor do we swear by the Gita.�
Putting his weight behind Rahul Gandhi, Gogoi went hammer and tongs at his critics and said, �He (Rahul Gandhi) must have some qualities. Else, why is he being repeatedly targeted?�
Refusing to put the blame on the Gandhi scion for the poll debacle, Gogoi reasoned as to why Modi was not blamed for the BJP�s defeat in Bihar.
�The criticism proves that he (Rahul) is on track. I feel under his (Rahul) leadership, the Congress will emerge stronger,� he said.
Alleging that the BJP has failed to meet the aspirations of the people, the former CM said, �Today, teachers, students, traders, government employees, farmers�nobody is happy. Who is happy then?�
He also charged the BJP-led government with helping Silapathar violence accused Subodh Biswas to flee and demanded a judicial inquiry to fix responsibility on the officers and police personnel responsible.
�How can anyone flee from a landlocked area? Why were the railway stations and airports not alerted immediately? Where is the police department? If there are lapses on the part of police, why no action has been taken so far? They have announced a probe by an additional chief secretary, but he will do what the CM says,� Gogoi said.
The former CM also questioned why no steps have been taken by the State government to dispel the uncertainty after the High Court refused to accept certificates given by panchayat secretaries as link documents for the NRC update process.