Democracy is not ruled by one man: Rahul Gandhi
After being anointed as the Congress party's poll campaign chief for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that a democracy cannot be ruled by a single man.
"Democracy is not ruled by dictate. Democracy is not ruled by one man. Democracy is ruled through empowered elected representatives," Rahul said addressing the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting here.
He said there is a need to bring the voices of the MPs back to the Parliament, and similarly acknowledge MLAs' and Pradhans' voices in Legislative Assemblies and villages respectively.
"Above all, what is most important is the voice of the Congress worker," he said.
"We have unleashed unmatched power to people. Every step of Congress is about giving power to people," Rahul said adding that, "We have unleashed this democratic opportunity."
Acknowledging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's leadership for the last 10 years, he said, "For 10 years we have had the privilege of Manmohan Singh's leadership. I want to thank the PM for the job he has done."
Citing examples of Right to Information (RTI) and Aadhaar, he said, "Everybody says information is power. Through RTI, we gave power to the common people.
Nobody pressured us to pass the RTI."
"We also created the Right to Identity through Aadhaar," he said.
He said the common people needs to be empowered and should be included in mainstream politics.
"Common people should be able to enter politics with ease. People want participation, and they deserve it," the Gandhi scion said as a preparatory step for the upcoming elections.
Rahul said, "What the Congress party delivered in the past 10 years is unmatched."
"Nobody is in the mood to accept less than what is their right. They want a fair deal and they deserve it," said Rahul adding: "Everybody spoke about the Lokpal, made a 'tamasha'. Who passed it? The Congress did."
Urging the workers, he said, "Either we wake up to the common man's aspirations, or we cannot claim that we represent them."
Saying that the Congress party has more to offer, he said, "We have six bills in Parliament that will transform the fight against corruption."
Hitting out at the opposition parties, Rahul said,"We do not respond by turning people against one another. We do not respond by over simplifying resolutions. We do not respond by blocking Parliament sessions year after year, day after day."
Slamming them further, he said, "Opposition said that they want a Congress-free India, but they aren't aware of the history of our country. These people don't understand that Congress is not a party. It is a thought which comes right from the heart. Those who have tried to bring us down have been decimated."
Appreciating the party and his government's work in various field, Rahul said, "We have alleviated 14 crore people from poverty."
He highlighted on some of the areas the Congress party will work in future by including the party workers and giving them tickets to contest Lok Sabha elections.
Calling them to avoid oppositions' criticisms, Rahul said, "Let the Opposition say whatever they want to. Their marketing skills are very good- there's glitter, song, and dance."
"They are people who can sell combs to bald people and now someone has already started giving them a haircut. Don't fall into their trap," warned the Congress number 2.
Calling himself a soldier of the party, Rahul said, "I am willing to do whatever you want me to do."
"There is a tough battle ahead of us. We'll go into this battle as warriors with our heads held high. We will not lose courage, we will not stop till this battle is won," Rahul asserted.
The Congress on Thursday said Rahul will lead the party's campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Her mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday made it clear that Rahul will not be named as the prime ministerial candidate of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
The decision was taken during the meeting of the Congress Working Committee on Thursday.
During the meeting, Sonia said the ruling party traditionally does not name a candidate before voting is held, reports said.
"The Lok Sabha election campaign will be led by Rahul Gandhi," Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi told media after the meeting.
Several leaders, who attended the meeting, wanted Rahul to be projected as the party's prime ministerial candidate.
India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had earlier named Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
(Posted on 17-01-2014)