Rahul also reached out to people who are not in the Congress but are opposing the BJP and said, “There are many people who are not scared, but are outside the Congress. All these people are ours. Bring them in.”
This statement assumes significance amid reports of election strategist Prashant Kishor planning a new innings with the Congress party.
Addressing social media workers of the party at an online event, an aggressive Rahul Gandhi hit out at leaders who had left the Congress in the recent past.
Rahul cited the example of his former aide Jyotiraditya Scindia to say that those who were afraid had left the party, news agency PTI reported quoting sources.
“He had to save his house and he got scared and he joined the RSS,” Rahul told the workers, according to sources.
“They are RSS people and they should go, let them enjoy. We do not want them, they are not needed. We want fearless people. This is our ideology. This is my basic message to you,” he said.
Jyotiraditya had left the Congress to join the BJP with his supporters leading to the fall of the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh. He was recently rewarded with a Cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
A number of senior Congress leaders have quit the party to join the BJP in the recent past. Some of the prominent ones to switch sides include Jitin Prasada, Maharashtra Congress leaders Narayan Rane and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and actor Khushboo Sundar.
Rahul’s aggressive posturing could also be aimed at giving a clear message to several Congress leaders who have questioned the functioning of the party and the role of the top leadership.
A group of 23 leaders (G-23) had written a letter to interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanding complete overhaul of the party and an active leadership.
Besides, Rahul has also been struggling to end factionalism in several state units. The crisis in Punjab Congress has threatened to snowball ahead of the assembly elections early next year.
‘You should not be scared’
Interacting with around 3,500 party workers of the Congress social media department, Rahul Gandhi asked them to be fearless.
“You should not be scared and you will never see me being afraid,” he said, adding that the Congress wants to give equal rights to all but the RSS wants to benefit only a few.
He asked the social media members not to be afraid of talking to him as they were a part of his family. “You are talking to your brother and you should not be scared,” he told them.
Rahul Gandhi also interacted personally with around 10 young workers from different fields, the party sources said.
(With inputs from agencies)