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‘BJP government less concerned about India’s peace than UPA’: Rahul Gandhi in Singapore

The Congress president claimed that the UPA government had followed a policy of ‘building bridges’ in Kashmir, contrary to the current dispensation.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday told the Indian diaspora in Singapore that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre was “less concerned about India’s peace and tranquillity” than the Congress-led dispensation that preceded it, IANS reported.

“We [the Congress] see society as a system that has to be kept in balance,” Gandhi asserted at a meeting with Indian-origin chief executive officers of Singaporean firms. “The BJP, on the other hand, is less concerned about peace and tranquillity. We see very serious dangers of polarising society and risks arising from them.”

The Congress president is on a visit to Singapore and Malaysia from March 8 to 10 as part of his efforts to reach out to the Indian diaspora there.

On the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, Gandhi said the state was “burning” when the United Progressive Alliance government came to power in 2004. He said the Manmohan Singh-led government worked on building bridges with the people. “We made a plan and worked on it for nine years,” ANI reported Gandhi as saying.

“[But] in 2014, when I went to Kashmir, I felt like crying,” he added. “I saw what a bad political decision can to do years and years of policy-making.” The Congress president said the key to peace was to “engage with people, to bring people in, to trust people”.

Gandhi added that the Congress had a fresh opportunity to win the people’s confidence. “We faced a storm in 2012,” Gandhi said in a possible reference to the 2G spectrum scandal. “Between 2012 and 2014 the system was destabilised and we saw the consequences.” He added that the Congress high command would present the Indian diaspora with a “new Congress party that envisions the values you were born with.”

The Congress president is expected to meet Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. He will also address a meeting of Overseas Congress and interact with alumni of the Indian Institutes of Management, PTI reported.

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