Rahul pitches for inclusive approach to counter Modi

Rahul pitches for inclusive approach to counter Modi

Rahul pitches for inclusive approach to counter Modi

 To counter Narendra Modi’s focus on development and Hindutva ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi pitched for financial inclusion as the party’s mantra.

Stressing the need to take everyone along the path of development, the Congress vice-president, speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry conference on Thursday, asserted: “It is very dangerous to leave people behind. Inclusive growth is a win-win for everybody.”

The 42-year-old leader, who seemed to be virtually outlining his party’s campaign strategy for the Lok Sabha elections, remarked: “When you play the politics of alienating communities, you stop the movement of people and ideas. Anger, hatred and prejudice do not help growth. When that happens, we all suffer. Businesses suffer and the seeds of disharmony are sown and the dreams of our people are severely disrupted.”

Linking national prosperity with communal harmony, Gandhi told India Inc that the nation witnessed faster economic growth under the UPA government since it had “greatly lowered tensions among communities and fostered harmony.” He said the Congress wanted the people to exist in mutual harmony.

The Gandhi scion was expected to use the platform to outline his economic vision for the country. Gandhi, however, did not touch upon pressing economic issues like high inflation, decelerating investment and a ballooning current account deficit. Instead, he called for a revamp of the political system and a closer relationship between the government and India Inc.

Making a strong pitch for devolution of power to panchayati raj institutions and empowerment of gram pradhans, Gandhi underlined that solution to the country’s problems lies in giving power to the people.

“Take one man and give him all the power to solve our problems, and it’s not going to happen. If you expect Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to solve our problems, it’s not going to happen. Give a billion people power to solve problem, it will be done in a jiffy. It is important what a billion people think, not what Rahul Gandhi thinks,” he said.

Gandhi stressed on the need to introduce changes in the current political system to ensure participation of people from the grass-roots level in the nation’s polity. “The architecture that we have to build is to open the political system,” he said. The country should have a political system where “higher level policies” were dealt with by MPs and MLAs while gram pradhans should be responsible for formulating “low level policies,” he added.

“The legislative engine in India consists of 5,000 people who determine everything, how many people choose them? How can you talk of Centre-state relationship when only MPs and MLAs are defining the Vidhan Sabhas?” he wondered. Gandhi called upon the industry leaders to forge a partnership with the government to help develop the country’s infrastructure. He also urged them to participate in education and skill development sectors to create employment opportunities for the youth.

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