Rahul Gandhi told an election meeting in Alwar on Wednesday that the Congress had decided to include in its manifesto the voices of the common man,youth,women and the marginalized sections,and put an end to the culture of closed door meetings.
A team led by union ministers Sachin Pilot and Jitendra Singh,and Rohtak MP Deepender Hooda would accept suggestions from voters both on handwritten forms and on the Internet,which would then find a place in the partys election manifesto,Rahul said.
Party manifestos are made by five people sitting in closed air-conditioned rooms,but we will throw these doors open for you and incorporate your suggestions in our manifesto, he said to loud applause.
Jitendra Singh introduced to the crowd Neetu Saini,a young girl,who he said had been one of the first to have voiced her expectations from the government,and whose suggestions would be deliberated upon.
In both Kherli and Churu,where he spoke earlier in the day,Rahul mentioned terrorism,and the personal losses he had suffered. In Kherli,he said that his mother,Congress president Sonia Gandhi,had asked him to tell people his own stories rather than stories about her,like he had done in Shahdol,Madhya Pradesh,last week.
So today,I will tell you my own story. I will tell you why I talk so much about terrorism. Two of my family members were targets of terrorism, Rahul said,describing himself as a victim of terrorism.
I saw the blood of my grandmother on one side and the blood of the men who taught me to play badminton,Beant Singh and Satwant Singh,on the other side. They used to protect her and,one day,only out of anger,they killed her. Anger is never there but it is instilled, Rahul said.
The BJP,he said,was instilling anger in people,inciting Hindus and Muslims against each other. If there is one thing that our opposition does that is to instill anger in people. That is what they do full time. They incite the Hindus against the Muslims and create unrest.
Iski thokar maine khayi hai. Do baar khayi hai. (I have borne the brunt of it twice). I am not the only one who is a victim of terrorism. There are lakhs of such people in the country. This country cannot move forward on the basis of anger,it can do so only with love. That is what the Congress party wants. We will live together,die together and fight together. There is no power in the world that can touch us, he said.
In Churu,the Congress vice-president said,I have a problem with the BJPs politics because they hurt the common man for their political gains. They stoke fires in Muzaffarnagar,Gujarat and Kashmir,and we are left to do the fire-fighting.
The Alwar rally was scheduled for 1 pm,and the crowd had gathered by noon. However,as Rahul kept them waiting for hours,groups of impatient youths raised slogans in favour of Narendra Modi instead. Modi lao,desh bachao, they shouted.
When Rahul finally arrived at 4.30,there was some cheering,but the Modi slogans returned as other Congress leaders spoke. Rahuls promise of jobs and giving people a say in the Congress manifesto,however,drew loud applause.
If the UPA is voted back to power next year,we will introduce (Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlots) free medicine scheme across the country. We have provided food security,the right to information and the land acquisition Act where landowners get four times the value of their land,and which has a policy for those vendors who are displaced, he said.
We are coming up with the dedicated freight corridor and industrial corridor linking Delhi,Mumbai,Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. A large number of companies will come in. We need industrialists to invest in the country but cannot deprive the poor of their land,and that is where the Land Acquisition Act protects the interests of poor landholders and vendors.
Should the Congress return to power in Rajasthan,it would be a government of the poor,weaker sections and youth,he said. Rajasthan is going to polls on December 1 and this will be seen as a litmus test for the upcoming parliamentary polls, he said in Churu.
Rahuls rallies on Wednesday were in districts Churu and Alwar considered strongholds of the BJP. Seven of Alwars 11 assembly seats are with the BJP,which also dominates neighbouring Bharatpur and Dausa. The people at the rallies came from Alwar,Sawai Madhopur,Dausa,Karauli,Bharatpur and Churu.