Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is contesting from Wayanad in Kerala, on Wednesday said he wants to build a lifelong relation with people of the constituency, and wants to send a message to the rest of the country that “there is a place called Wayanad, where people live peacefully”.
Addressing an election in the constituency, Rahul said, “I am not like Prime Minister Modi. I will not come here to tell you that I want to give you 2 crore jobs, or deposit Rs 15 lakh in your accounts, because I respect your intelligence, your wisdom, and your understanding.”
Rahul said he does not want to build ties that will end in a couple of months. “I want to have a lifelong relation with you. I want sisters of Wayanad to say that he is my brother. I want fathers and mothers of Wayanad to say he is my son. That kind of relationship cannot be built on lies — it has to be built on truth.”
Without referring to controversial remarks made by BJP leaders following his candidature from Wayanad, Rahul said, “I have come here not as a politician, but as a brother, a son, or as a friend. I have come here not to explain what I understand…not to tell you my Mann ki Baat. I have come to hear what is in your heart… what is in the heart of every single person.”
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He said the rest of India can learn a lot from Wayanad. “I want to send a message to the rest of the country that there is a place called Wayanad where people live peacefully,” he said. “I want to say that there is a place called Wayanad where people work together to solve their problems. It is the love, affection and spirit of Kerala — a Wayanad that is going to show Modi what exactly the country is about.”
Rahul did not make any reference to the agrarian crisis in the constituency. He promised that solutions will be found for the man-animal conflict in the region and ban on night traffic on the stretch of national highway in the district.
Before the rally, Rahul visited Maha Vishnu temple in Thirunelli, Wayanad, and performed rituals at Papanasini river where Rajiv Gandhi’s ashes were immersed.
He later tweeted, “Standing besides the Papanasini, where my father’s ashes were immersed in 1991, brought back fond memories of him & our time together.’’
Rahul, who had reached Kerala on Monday, addressed three other election rallies in the state on Wednesday. All 20 constituencies in Kerala will go to the polls on April 23.