New Delhi: After getting a pat from the
Congress top brass, Rahul Gandhi today took the floor at the
AICC session and spoke of how only the poor can be the driving
force to take the country forward.
Rahul also made a strong endorsement of Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh`s economic policies.
"If we have to bring forward the poor people of this
country we have to work like PM who is giving economic growth
to this country that`s what we need."
The 40-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, who
was seated in the back row on the dais at the AICC session
here, rose to speak following vociferous demands from party
workers after Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had addressed the delegates.
The AICC general secretary said he was being forced to
speak since he was not listed as a speaker at the Congress
"This (his speech) was not part of the plan.
"You cornered me at the last minute," he said as
Congress members cheered and clapped at the Talkatora indoor
Singh, Gandhi and Mukherjee in their speeches lauded
the contribution of Rahul in bringing a new generation to the
party fold through a democratic process in the youth and
student wings of the organisation.
In his address, Rahul asked party members to work for
the weaker sections who can take the country forward and
pledged to strengthen the Congress.
"It was only Congress which could unite the "two
Hindustans"-- one for the rich and the other for the
poor," he added.
Telling the delegates about his extensive travels
across the country and interactions with a cross-section of
people, he said, "I have understood two things clearly.
"First is that it is only the poor people who can take
the country forward. And if we have to take the poor people
forward, the Prime Minister`s strategy for economic growth is
"There are two Hindustans - one is growing very fast
and the other is for the poor (which is in crisis).... We have
to connect and unite the two.
Congress, he said, was the only party which could do
this as all other parties were "either regional, or based on
caste or religion".
"It is only the Congress - a national party -- which
can do it as it has its presence all over the country," Rahul
said, adding that the party was gaining strength every year.
He said people used to say that Congress was finished
in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
"The party is not finished. The party can be easily
rekindled by learning the problems of the poor and working for
them," he said.
Sonia said, "We cannot remain an effective election
machine which starts working only during a election. On this
issue, I am happy that Youth Congress and NSUI have brought in
a new generation of youth into the organisation through a
democratic process." Rahul is the AICC general secretary
in-charge of Youth Congress and party`s student wing NSUI.
She also appreciated the work done by the youth and
student wings of the Congress.
Singh said he was confident that the country`s youth
will fulfill the dreams of making the country strong.