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Piyush Goyal accuses Congress of raking "divisive issues"

PTI 04 Jun 2015, 18:29:46 PM IST

New Delhi: Union Minister Piyush Goyal today accused Congress of raking "divisive issues", days after party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi took a veiled dig at BJP cautioning against the "ideology that pits one against the another".

"The moment Rahul Gandhi tried to raise divisive issue in Mhow, the birthplace of revered Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Ambedkar two days ago, I joined issue with him and appealed to the Congress party not to persevere with their age-old politics of raking up inconsequential, divisive issues.

But support the efforts to bring development and good governance as the national agenda," Goyal said in a Question & Answer session with Facebook users here.

He was answering to a question as to whether he thought that in the age of globalisation, politicians should mislead the people by dividing them into caste, religion and communities.

Gandhi on Tuesday at Mhow, birthplace of B R Ambedkar had flagged the national launch of celebrations by his party to mark the 125th anniversary of the Dalit icon.

Invoking Ambedkar's idea of "annihilation of caste", Gandhi had made a strong pitch to end social discrimination and took a veiled dig at BJP cautioning against the "ideology that pits one against another".

Reaching out to the Dailts, Gandhi had also heaped praises on the Dalit icon and had opened another front against the Narendra Modi government accusing it of trying to "silence" a student group of IIT-Madras belonging to Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle for being critical of the Prime Minister.

Replying to another question about steps taken by the NDA government to check corruption in the lower levels of state government offices, Goyal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes that if we begin by eliminating corruption at the top, we can make the bureaucracy at the lower levels more accountable and monitor their integrity better.

"Sadly, over the years, one would hear statements like I have only taken a Rs 100 bribe. It is nothing compared to what's happening at the top.

"Today, nobody can make such allegations knowing full well that the leadership is incorruptible and we are very confident that with growing awareness among the youth, who are willing to expose and fight corruption, we shall together be able to make a difference," the Minister for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy said.

He also said that her colleage HRD Minister Smriti Irani is working to improve educational standards and better management practices in educational institutions.

"Given entrenched interests over the years, it is an uphill task to change. However, we are focused on learning outcomes and are determined to give quality education to our youth," Goyal said.