Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has taken a swipe at the ruling BJP government, saying it is "threatening" the people and "misusing" the country's agencies as he addressed a gathering of the Indian diaspora here.
Speaking at an event in Santa Clara, California on Tuesday, Gandhi said the BJP and the RSS are controlling all the instruments of politics in India.
He said before starting his Bharat Jodo Yatra', he realised that the normal tools that have historically been used in politics were not working anymore.
"The BJP is threatening people and misusing government agencies. The Bharat Jodo Yatra started because all the instruments that we needed to connect with the people were controlled by the BJP-RSS," he said.
"We were also finding that in some way, it had become quite difficult to act politically. And that's why we decided to walk from the southernmost tip of India to Srinagar," he said.
Gandhi said the yatra carried the spirit of affection, respect and humility.
"If one studies history, it can be seen that all spiritual leaders including Guru Nanak Dev ji, Guru Basavanna ji, Narayana Guru ji united the nation in a similar way," he said.
Gandhi said India is not what is being shown in the media which likes to promote a political narrative that is far from reality, asserting that there is a "huge distortion".
"It was very clear to me in the Yatra that it's in the media's interest to project these things, it helps the BJP. So, don't think that everything you see in the media is the truth," he said.
"India is not what the media shows. The media likes to show a particular narrative. It likes to promote a political narrative that is actually not what is going on in India," he said.
The Congress leader arrived here on Tuesday for a three-city US tour during which he will interact with the Indian diaspora and meet American lawmakers.
Last week, Indian Overseas Congress chairperson Sam Pitroda said Gandhi's visit is aimed at promoting shared values and a vision of real democracy.
"The purpose of his (Gandhi's) trip is to connect, interact and begin a new conversation with various individuals, institutions and media, including the Indian diaspora that is growing in numbers in the United States and abroad to promote the shared values and vision of the real democracy with a focus on freedom, inclusion, sustainability, justice, peace and opportunities world over, Pitroda said in a statement.
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