Targetting BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and BJP’s dream to win over “Poorvanchal” (eastern Uttar Pradesh), Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi targeted the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance while addressing his first election rally in Uttar Pradesh at the Ramlila ground of Pratapgarh Lok Sabha constituency.
While Rahul reminded the gathering how the Sena had forced “Poorvanchalis” of UP and Bihar to leave Mumbai, Congress state chief Nirmal Khatri surprised everyone by terming Rahul as ‘Pandit Rahul Gandhi’ and informing the gathering that he is the descendant of ‘Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’.
“I recently went to Mumbai, where a person like you caught hold of my hand and told me that he was being forced to leave the place by the Shiv Sena. You have to tell them that the people of UP and Bihar cannot be suppressed,” Rahul told the gathering in Pratapgarh, which is on the border of Poorvanchal and Awadh region.
Directly hitting at Modi and the campaign surrounding him, Rahul said:”Country is not run by a single person. They talk of Gujarat. Gujarat has been made ‘Gujarat’ by women there and Amul is the result of people of Gujarat. They believe in taking strength of people and putting it behind an individual, whereas we believe in giving strength to all.”
Listing achievements of UPA Government like Right to Education, Food and Information, Rahul said: “They (BJP) talk of corruption but three ministers in the Gujarat government have been to jail. Similar is the scene in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh,” adding, “I accept that they have taken a lead in marketing themselves, but you have to see that we have taken a lead in work.”
Warning the people of poorvanchal about political parties trying to polarise votes during elections, Rahul reminded the gathering about the Muzaffarnagar riots and said, “During my visit to the Muzaffarnagar, the Muslims told me that the riot was instigated by outsiders.”
Speaking about Maharashtra, he said: “BJP people are doing politics of anger and hatred, whereas we are doing politics of love and affection. We believe that the country is one and you should be able to have home in Maharashtra or anywhere across the country.”
Promising jobs for youths by promoting manufacturing in the country and taking about 50 per cent reservation for women in Parliament, Legislative Assemblies and the Congress, Rahul said: “If Congress comes to power at the Centre and the state, people from Maharashtra, America and London would come here for employment.”