Speaking at a rally close to the naxal hotbed of Gadchiroli, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday dubbed BJP “anti-poor” while calling his own party “pro-poor.”
But well before he could finish his speech, people who had waited for him for three long hours in scorching heat started walking off. He had to finally wind up his speech abruptly when a group of youths started shouting “we want justice”.
“Arre bhai jara ruko (please stop),” Rahul said before bringing his speech to an end in the next sentence. Later, the youths were found to be engineering students of Nagur University who were protesting against the university.
Rahul was addressing a sizeable gathering at an election meeting of party nominee and sitting MLA Namdev Usendi.
Rahul started off by asking the women to be seated in the front. “We need to take women ahead. Women should be seated at the front in my rallies,’ he said.
He combined his attack on BJP with UPA’a achievement. “These people (BJP) haven’t even once uttered the words poor and weak. We do politics for the poor, tribals and weak. They do politics for industrialists,” Gandhi said.
Listing the UPA’s achievements like MNREGA, RTI and Forest Rights Act to empower the poor, Gandhi attacked the “BJP thinking” that “one man can change the country’s fortune”. “And we think poor, tribal and weaker sections can,” he added. “We have done so many things for the poor. They (Opposition) ask why we have spent so much on the poor. We have brought 15 crore above poverty line in ten years,” he said.
Gandhi claimed those who drove trucks and hand-carts made the nation tick. “And the coming government would be the government of 70 crore (such) people,” he said.
“We will never forget you. We will do whatever you would ask us to do,” he said.
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