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Last day: Rahul goes all out at BJP,guns blazing

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi summed up the party’s campaign in Delhi by launching a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday,two days before the Capital goes to polls.

Written by Mandakini Gahlot | New Delhi |
May 6, 2009 1:21:25 am

Gandhi slams saffron party’s pro-rich stance,says Congress with ‘aam admi’

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi summed up the party’s campaign in Delhi by launching a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday,two days before the Capital goes to polls.

At a public meeting in Seelampur,on the edge of two constituencies with a strong Congress base (Northeast Delhi and East Delhi),Gandhi said BJP was interested in serving the rich by ignoring the poor. “In the last Lok Sabha elections,BJP’s slogan was ‘India Shining’,” he said. “A slogan in English — a language that more than half the country does not even understand — but they did not ask the farmers or the poor if their India was shining. The BJP only asked the rich and assumed that India was shining.”

Gandhi said the Congress’s attitude was apparent in its own slogan from the last general elections. “Our slogan was ‘Aam Aadmi’,because we trust you and we know that you are responsible for all the progress made in this country over the last five years,” he said to loud applause.

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Taking on BJP for criticising him after Gandhi took British Foreign Secretary David Milliband to Amethi in January,he said,“The BJP said,‘why is Rahul Gandhi displaying India’s poverty to a foreigner’? But even an Englishman understood India’s real power is its people,and the poor will shape its future. The BJP cannot understand this.”

Like all his speeches so far,the Amethi MP again came out strongly in defence of Manmohan Singh. “When the debate over the nuclear deal was threatening to destabilise the government,I went to Dr Singh and he told me that this deal was good for the country; that we should enter it even if it meant the government will fall. How can the BJP call such a man weak?”

He said in the aftermath of the attacks on Mumbai last November Singh put pressure on Pakistan to make that country admit that the terrorists had come from their country. Among other issues,Gandhi spoke about BJP’s role in the Kandahar episode,its brand of “divisive politics”,and the various welfare schemes introduced by the Congress government under Manmohan Singh.

Asking Delhiites to cast their vote in favour of Congress,he said: “Delhi has progressed rapidly over the last 10 years and you have shown your approval by voting Sheila Dikshit to power for the third time. Now you must support us again.”

Significantly,while Gandhi held the Congress fort on the last day of campaigning before the polls,no big guns roared for the BJP today seeking votes for the party’s seven candidates in Delhi.

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