Zee Media Bureau
Sagar/Indore: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday continued his aggressive campaign against the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of Assembly Elections in Madhya Pradesh.
Rahul addressed two rallies in Madhya Pradesh today - Rahatgarh in Sagar district and in Indore.
Targeting the BJP over tensions at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, the Gandhi scion said the opposition party doesn`t understand that by creating riots, it is harming the country.
Over 40 people were killed and thousands displaced in Muzaffarnagar riots.
Rahul further said that he had been told by an intelligence official that as a consequence of the communalisation in Muzaffarnagar, there was a group of 10-15 Muslim youngsters, whose kin were killed, with whom intelligence agencies of Pakistan have established contact.
Gandhi claimed that the intelligence official told him he was convincing the youngsters to stay away from the influence of Pakistani operatives.
“I was told by Muslims and Hindus in Muzaffarnagar that they were made to fight,” Rahul told the mammoth crowd.
Accusing the BJP of igniting tensions for electoral gains, Rahul said it is the Congress which douses the communal fire.
Hatred only kills people, said Rahul, adding his party believes that love solves problems.
In Indore, Gandhi promised to develop the western Madhya Pradesh city as a commercial city on par with Mumbai and Bangalore if the Congress was voted to power in the state.
"You must dream big. Five or six factories may not be enough. In 10 years, Indore will be counted as a commercial capital," he said.
Harking back yet again to his family, Rahul described his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi as his "hero". "Like every child, my father was my hero. When he was 40, he became the Prime Minister and during those days I have seen him struggling everyday for the people of the country," Rahul said, addressing `Satta Parivartan` (change of power) rally at the Dusshera Maidan in Indore.
At a rally in Rajasthan yesterday, Rahul had referred to the assassinations of his father, and his grandmother Indira Gandhi.
Today, Rahul said he once met a slum-dweller woman in Maharashtra, who told him that she wanted one of her sons to become an IAS officer, and another a businessman.
But, she added, she was struggling alone and was not getting any help from the system.
There are a large number of people who are fighting the system to fulfil their dreams of education, etc, but they get crushed, he said.
"The system should open its arms to help such people so that they can fulfil their dreams," Rahul said.
In Sagar, Rahul said the ruling party in the state was far removed from the concerns of the poor.
"The BJP`s politics is the politics of air-conditioners and industrialists," Gandhi said, while addressing a rally in the backward Bundelkhand region which straddles Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
This is the second leg of his campaign in the state.
Highlighting the pro-poor Food Security Act and the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act, Gandhi said the BJP opposed the right to food law, asking how it would be funded.
"When it comes to giving food to the poor, the BJP opposed the food bill, saying where will the money for it come from," Gandhi said.
"The farmer and the labourer should also get the market rate for his land, like the rich," he said, adding that compensation for land has been hiked four times under the land acquisition legislation.
Targeting the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi said: "While the poor people of the state were having a difficult time, the ministers were happy."
"Did `India Shining` (BJP`s national campaign of 2004) bring development to you?" he asked. The Congress, he said, engages in the politics of development and empowerment of people.
Gandhi reminded people that he had come to the backward region in 2008 during a drought and spent nights with people there, getting bitten by mosquitoes and drinking village well water. He said he had taken ill, but was happy with it all.
"It was good. Leaders should know what village life is like," he said.
Claiming that the United Progressive Alliance government had built more roads in the country than were built during the tenure of the National Democratic Alliance, Gandhi said he wanted "the poor of the region and their next generation to drive cars".
Reminding people of the central financial package worth thousands of crores of rupees for the region in 2008, Gandhi said, "The centre will provide more if needed, to make Bundelkhand a prosperous region".
He told people that "there will be a Congress government of the poor and the youth in the state".
The Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh are scheduled for November 25.
(With Agency inputs)