Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said his party believes in allowing all people to express their faith, accusing the BJP and the RSS of suppressing all voices other than their own.
Addressing election rallies in various parts of Kerala, Gandhi said, “Congress believes in allowing all people to express their faith, express their belief and their sentiments. Congress would never take any action that prevents people to genuinely expressing their faith. We believe in the wisdom of people of Kerala to be able to peacefully resolve the issue.”
However, Gandhi did not mention the Sabarimala temple or the recent agitations in the state after the Supreme Court allowed women of menstruating age to enter the hill shrine.
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Regarding his decision to contest from Wayanad, Gandhi said, “I have chosen Kerala because you know how to love each other. You respect other people’s ideas. You believe in your ideas. You defend your ideas, but you respect others’ ideas.”
He said BJP and RSS wanted to suppress all other voices, other than their own. “But Congress believes that every single person should be heard in the country. BJP and RSS believe that one idea should run this country. The Congress believes that no idea should be crushed in India.”
He also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that he had made a lot of promises in the last five years. “How many of you got Rs 15 lakh deposited in your bank accounts as promised by the Prime Minister… How many of you have got a job given by the Prime Minister?”
“In the Rafale deal, Anil Ambani has got Rs 30,000 crore. But the Prime Minister has no money to give Rs 300 crore for cashew growers,” Gandhi said.
Referring to Nyay — his party’s proposed minimum income guarantee scheme —Gandhi said he wanted to carry out a surgical strike on poverty.
“About 20 per cent of the poor people in the country would get Rs 72,000 deposited into their accounts annually. Modi asks where will the money come from…I want to make clear that not a single rupee would be taken from pocket of the middle class… The money would come from large number of crony capitalists, who have been given thousands of crores of rupees because they are friends of Modi,” he said.
In a bid to win over the rubber farmers in Kerala, Gandhi claimed Modi had made a deal with Malaysia without consulting the rubber growers. “Is the government supporting the people of Malaysia or the people of India?”
Although Congress is engaged in a poll battle with CPI (M) in Kerala, Gandhi did not make any direct reference to the ruling LDF government. Referring to the last year’s massive floods, Gandhi said the state government should do whatever they can do to help the affected people.