Rahul Gandhi's New Approach in Gujarat is Samvaad
Addressing party workers in the city, Gandhi exuded confidence that the Congress, in opposition in Gujarat for nearly two decades, would come to power after the polls, likely to be held later this year.
File photo of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)
Ahmedabad: Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi, spelt out the party's agenda for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat, saying leaders of other parties who join the Congress just ahead of the polls, will not be given tickets. He added that the election was a contest between two conflicting ideologies and Congress will choose candidates that are opposed to the ideology of the RSS and BJP.
Embarking on a new approach - different from the election rallies where anodyne speeches are delivered - Rahul Gandhi adopted the `Samvaad' method. He took questions from party workers from across the state at the event organised at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad.
Rahul Gandhi took questions about anti party activities, allocation of tickets for the forthcoming elections, demonetisation, GST, tribal rights, unemployment, education, the Patidar reservation issue, farmers' rights, healthcare and corruption.
Later in the day, the Congress VP held separate meetings with professionals, entrepreneurs and office bearers of various trade organisations. These meetings were followed by separate meetings with city and district party presidents, representatives of local bodies controlled by the Congress and, finally, a meeting of office bearers of various bodies of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee. Rahul Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel are expected to personally oversee the Congress' preparations ahead of the elections.
Reiterating that the NDA government was anti poor, Rahul Gandhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a near-interest free loan of Rs 60,000 crore to Tata Motors while the debt of farmers of Gujarat is around Rs 36,000 crore.
"The truth of the matter is that PM Modi works for the welfare and interests of top industrialists. Media in this country is not run by farmers and common people. It is run by six or seven industrialist friends of Modiji," Rahul Gandhi told the cheering Congress workers.
Replying to a question on GST, Gandhi said that the small and medium businesses have taken the worst beating because of demonetisation and subsequent implementation of GST.
"Most people compare India with China. I believe that the only way in which we can realistically compete with China is to empower our small and medium businesses. Modiji's focus is on the top 50 industrialists of the country. For the Congress, our focus will be on small and medium businesses."
Addressing the Patidar issue, Rahul Gandhi said: "The education system in Gujarat is a system where people are being looted of their money. People buy degrees at huge costs and then suffer. Around 50 people run this system. We will change this."
Patidars have been demanding reservation in both educational institutions as well as government jobs.
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