'100 kg weight and accompanied by a servant': Rahul Gandhi recalls meeting RSS leader during Kedarnath Yatra
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has recalled that he encountered an overweight RSS leader who weighed nearly 100 kilos upon reaching the Kedarnath Dham.
Nanded: While addressing a gathering in Maharashtra’s Nanded, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi recalled his meeting with an RSS leader, whose name he didn’t reveal, during his recent visit to the holy Kedarnath Dham in Uttarakhand. Interestingly, the Gandhi scion also sought permission from the audience before narrating the controversial story about his meeting with the RSS leader. Narrating the incident in Nanded on Thursday, the Congress leader said that he had already made up his mind not to take a helicopter to visit the Kedarnath shrine.
On reaching Kedarnath, he said that he encountered an overweight RSS leader who weighed nearly 100 kilos. "I don't know how to say this but his weight was around 100 kg. He had a servant with him carrying a fruit basket. As I asked him he said he brought those fruits to offer to Shiv Ji. I thought he didn't bring; his servant did. But I didn't say this to him. I don't just blurt out what I think always," Rahul Gandhi said.
The RSS leader told him that he took a chopper to reach the holy shrine, while Rahul walked up to the temple. Rahul further said that the RSS leader told him that he sought good health from Lord Shiva. On his turn, when the RSS leader asked him the same question, Rahul said, “I thanked Lord Shiva for showing me the way to walk towards his temple,’’
“This is the difference between the Congress and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)," Rahul added.
In Nanded, Rahul also attacked the Centre over the 2016 demonetisation exercise and poor implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying common citizens were suffering and not getting any return for their hard work under the rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said the Congress's Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is in Maharashtra currently, was aimed at standing against what he called the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s policies of "spreading fear and hatred". "Farmers, labourers toil hard but get no return under the Modi regime," Gandhi said, addressing a rally as part of the yatra, which is led by him, on Mondha ground in Nanded in central Maharashtra.
The Centre's policies of demonetisation (2016) and faulty implementation of the GST (2017) had broken the back of Indian economy and destroyed small and medium businesses which generate large-scale employment, said the Lok Sabha MP from Kerala.
"Six years have passed after demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, but black money still remains in circulation. Policies are being devised to spread fear among people. Farmers are not getting MSP for their produce or waiver of their agri loans," Gandhi said. He maintained the Bharat Yodo Yatra, which started from Tamil Nadu on September 7 and entered the fourth day in Maharashtra, was moving ahead due to love and affection showered by common people.
"Even after walking for 24km daily, we don't feel tired because the strength of the country is with us," said the former Congress president. Gandhi claimed the Centre's policies were instilling fear among people and the BJP was using that emotion to spread hatred. "The yatra is meant to stand up against such tendencies. No force can stop the yatra...We will go to Srinagar (where the foot march will conclude in early 2023) and hoist the tricolour."