Jaipur: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Monday said his party runs a government for the poor and would continue to work for their betterment if voted back to power in the Lok Sabha elections.
Rahul Gandhi waves to Congress supporters in Bhiwandi, Thane. Pic: mid-day
Addressing a rally in Rajasthan's Devali town in Tonk district, around 100 km from here, Gandhi alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party will run "a government for the rich" in the state.
He said the Congress-led union government got about 150 million people out of the below poverty line (BPL) category in the last 10 years.
Gandhi said his party would work for the welfare of 700 million people in India who were earlier classified as "poor" but now no longer live in absolute poverty.
"They are below the middle class, but above the poor class. If voted to power, the Congress aims to work for the development of this class and provide enough opportunities to them so that they can progress," he said.
Over 75,000 people turned up at the rally, and even broke barricades to get a glimpse of the Congress leader.
Gandhi hit out at the BJP and said it does not find corruption in the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where it is in power.
He also referred to the alleged corruption during the BJP's five-year rule in Karnataka.
Gandhi, however, said the Congress will not allow the BJP to indulge in corruption in Rajasthan.
"Congress workers will ensure that the BJP keeps from indulging in corruption. The workers would hit the road and leave no stone unturned to ensure this," he said.
"The BJP will run a government for the rich, but the Congress will fight for the poor."
Stating that the Congress will give opportunities to new and young faces for the polls, he said participation of youth in politics was essential to tackle corruption.
He said young leaders have been given organisational responsibilities in Rajasthan after the party's rout in the assembly polls last year.
He also said the proposed industrial and freight rail corridor between Delhi and Mumbai will provide employment to the youth in Rajasthan.
Rajasthan Congress president and union minister Sachin Pilot, former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and several other party leaders also addressed the gathering.
The Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan will be held in two phases. Voting for the 25 parliamentary constituencies in the state will take place April 17 and 24.
In the last elections in 2009, the Congress won in 20 constituencies while the BJP bagged four seats. One seat was won by an Independent candidate.
Interacting with stone mine workers in Kolayat in Bikaner, Gandhi said policies have to be framed to benefit the poor.
Absence of social security, low wages, lack of medical facilities and permanent employment were among the issues raised by the workers.
Gandhi said the Congress intends to include the right to health in its manifesto as a poor person who falls sick for three-four days and is out of work gets sucked into poverty.
He also told the labourers that he will work for them and fight for their issues.