Rahul plays farmer card ; appeals voters to defeat 'Gujarat Model'
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today played the farmer card to woo peasants/rural voters and branded the rival BJP as anti-farmer and asked people to defeat their much-hyped Gujarat Model as it 'does not address concerns and needs of poor and downtrodden'.
Addressing the election meetings in Jat dominated Jhunjhunu and tribal dominated Udaipur constituencies this afternoon, Mr Gandhi began in his explanatory style to differentiate between Congress and its rivals approach and ideology, hit hard at the BJP and its leaders.
Terming the saffron party as pro-elite, he criticised it for allegedly copying the Congress manifesto and having double speak over issues of people's concern specifically corruption.
He ridiculed BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his popular 'Chowkidar' theme and targeted Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for 'sabotaging' free medicine scheme launched by previous Congress Government and taunted her for allegedly being indulged in corruption.
In Jhunjhunu, he also tried to invoke sentiments in audience by praising late party veteran Sisram Ola.
He assured that if the Congress retained power after the polls its government would get passed Women's Quota Bill to reserve 33 per cent seats in Parliament and state legislatures for women.
Mr Gandhi held that BJP with its selective approach and agenda aired 'Shining India' plank--focusing on some selective stratum--in 2004 and 2009 general elections that was defeated by the people of the country and now the same balloon(read plank) with gas of Gujarat Model was being flown high, but since that again does not talk of concerns of common man and problems/needs of farmers that should again be stoned and punctured.
Over the Chowkidar theme, he sarcastically said that nation needed custodians for all of its citizens and hence no special Chowkidar like Modi is needed, he said, adding the Congress and its government had already started working on empowerment of such custodians of the nation.
'Beware I have heard that Chowkidars also steal sometimes,' the Congress No.2 said sarcastically.
He talked about efforts taken by UPA government for the welfare of farmers, empowerment of women and rights era, that enabled to pull out 15 crore people from the BPL category.
The Congress-led government had waived off loans of farmers. 'We have opened the doors of banks for providing farmers easy and soft loans, as high as seven times than the previous regime were provided by banks to farmers during the UPA rule,' he said detailing other pro-farmer initiatives.
Contrary to this, BJP leaders believe that farmers are not needed in this country, they believe that this country only needs software engineers, he added.
(Posted on 11-04-2014)