Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said that he does not want an India that is free of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its views, as he believes that all voices must be heard in a country, the Deccan Herald reported on Thursday.

In an interview with the newspaper, Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP have a very rigid concept of nationalism and that the people of the country will not tolerate it. He claimed the idea of nationalism was inspired from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s concept of what it means to be an Indian.

“I am saying that the BJP view is a fact in India, and I do not want a BJP-mukt Bharat,” Gandhi told the Deccan Herald. “I will fight them, I will defeat them, but it is an expression and I accept that all voices must be heard. Where I draw the line is violence. Where I draw the line is hatred. My main concern with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh view and the BJP view is violence, hatred, animosity.”

The Congress president claimed the BJP had won the elections in Uttar Pradesh by polarising the society. Gandhi said Modi, when he came to power in India, had promised the country to provide jobs, do away with corruption, and address farmer problems. However, the prime minister had failed on all three planks, Gandhi said.

“In 2019, India is clearly going to state to Mr Narendra Modi – Mr Modi, you promised us three things and all you have given us is a lot of talk. But nothing has really happened,” he added.

Gandhi also said the Congress was very confident that the party will expand dramatically in the upcoming Assembly as well as General Elections. He claimed the Congress had done a lot of introspection of its mistakes and decisions that led to its loss in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Karnataka Assembly elections

Speaking about the upcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka, the Congress leader asked Janata Dal (Secular) chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda to clarify his stance on supporting the BJP or the Congress. Gowda has so far denied allying with the BJP or the Congress.

“The central fight in Karnataka is between the BJP ideology and the Congress ideology,” Gandhi said. “And Mr Deve Gowda has to be clear. He has to tell the people of Karnataka, is he on this side, or on that side.”

The Congress leader said that his party’s aim was to ensure that the RSS does not crush the voice of Karnataka. “Do not allow Karnataka or any other state for that matter to be controlled by the RSS,” he said. “Because that is what this election is all about. The election is about Nagpur and the RSS trying to control the voice of Karnataka. And ensure that those elements in the society are fought.”

Karnataka goes to polls on May 12 and the votes will be counted on May 15. Some analysts predict the state Assembly will be hung, in which case the JD(S) seats will be crucial for forming a majority.