Addressing a rally here after presiding over functions aimed at improving irrigation and power supply in poll-bound Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi sought to identify his party with the poor, the youth and the aspiring classes.
"We want that the poorest of poor are able to see the biggest dream. We want women should be able to see biggest dreams. Otherwise, there is no interest in politics for us. That is why I am standing here," Gandhi said to applause from the audience. This was his second rally in the state in seven days.
In his about 20-minute speech, he repeatedly referred to welfare legislations passed by the United Progressive Alliance government, including on food security, rural employment guarantee and land acquisition, and accused the opposition of creating hurdles in their passage.
He said the opposition agrees with the Congress on the need to build infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railway lines and power plants, but not on the concern for the poor.
"They (opposition) say well-placed people should walk on these roads, should board planes and the common man goes hungry and keeps looking at swanky cars. We say that the biggest dream should be seen by the poor. Whether it is a poor labourer, he should be able to say that my son will fly the aeroplane," he said.
He contended the reason behind poverty is not unemployment, but frequent health problems and diseases.
Noting the Congress government in Rajasthan was giving free medicines to the poor, he said the scheme will be implemented in the whole country.
"Ask the labourers, how much they spend on treatment of diseases. Not only here, (this scheme) will be implemented in the whole country," Gandhi said.
Gandhi said that India was country of youth and most of them were poor.
"They have a lot of dreams. If they want to find employment, want to start a business, the government needs to hold their hand," he said, adding the food security bill will help the youth realise their dream.
The Congress vice president made no mention of Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, whom the opposition party wants to project as his main rival in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Widely seen as the prime ministerial candidate by Congressmen, Gandhi presided over functions to lay the foundation stone of the Parwan River Dam Project and Super Critical Power Plant in Chhabra and also to inaugurate three units of Chhabra Plant and a sub-critical unit at Kalisindh.
Gandhi was accompanied by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former union minister C.P. Joshi, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot, and several other senior leaders.
--IANS (Posted on 17-09-2013)