Shahdol: Hardselling UPA`s `game changer` Food Security Act, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday sought to strike an emotional chord with `aam aadmi` and tribals, recalling how Sonia Gandhi was in tears at not being able to cast her vote when the measure was passed in Lok Sabha.
"I will not leave until the bill is passed. I have fought for years for the bill and will not leave until I press that button," Rahul said, giving a blow-by-blow account at an election rally of his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi`s illness the day the epoch-making legislation was passed.
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"When I took her to hospital, she could hardly breathe and tears welled up in her eyes. She said Rahul, I fought for the bill for years, I wanted to press the button (to register her vote) but could not," Rahul said recounting his mother`s frustration at not being able to cast her vote.
"The BJP can make as many claims as it wants about development but the truth is that under its rule, nothing has been done for the youth, farmers, women and the unemployed," Rahul said addressing the rally at Lalpur, about 18 kms from here.
"For them (BJP) a good road where shining cars can run
smoothly is a sign of development. For us it is feeding the poor, giving them honour and respect," Rahul said and asked the tribals present at the rally whether they had got respect under BJP rule and the crowd responded with a resounding "no".
"Congress will give you back the respect you deserve. The Congress would ensure that all people, including tribals, get the respect they deserve," he said, adding anybody not falling in line will have to pay for it.
Maintaining that Congress was committed to promoting the interests of the common man, Rahul said,"we want them in Parliament, state assemblies, in panchayats. They (BJP) don`t want them in these places."
"Our ties with tribals are not political, these are instrinsically familial. I want representation of tribals in Parliament and state assemblies to go up so their voice can be heard," he said.
Rahul said he wanted to introduce a new style in politics where leaders went to people, ate with them and asked them about their welfare.
Trashing MP government`s claims about development, he referred to a UNICEF report which said the present levels of hunger in Madhya Pradesh were comparable to those in Africa. "Still BJP continues to trumpet its claims about development."
During five years of NDA rule, 2650 km of roads were laid, while during the same period with UPA at the helm roads were built in 9,750 km, he said.
In a show of unity all top Congress leaders from Madhya Pradesh including Union ministers Kamalnath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, besides Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Ajay Singh were present. However, apart from Rahul only Kamalnath and Scindia addressed the rally.