People's wishes will trump Kasturirangan advice: Rahul

People's wishes will trump Kasturirangan advice: Rahul

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the party would not go against the wishes of the people of Kerala while implementing recommendations by the K Kasturirangan panel for environment conservation in the Western Ghats.

 Addressing a gathering in connection with the party’s election campaign in Kattappana in Idukki district, Gandhi said the Congress would place the people’s interests ahead of other factors.

“I assure you that nothing is going to happen that people here don’t wish to happen. Conservation of environment is important and we accept it but your wishes are also important and we will stand by your wishes,” he said. Idukki is set to witness a close contest between Congress candidate Dean Kuriakose and Left-backed Independent candidate Joice George who comes with support from the High Range Protection Council (HRPC) that has been opposing the Congress-led Union government’s stance on implementing recommendations in the Kasturirangan report.

Gandhi kicked off his meetings in Kasaragod where he addressed a rally as part of the campaign for Congress candidate from the constituency T Siddique. Taking pot-shots at the CPM, the Congress’ major rival in the state, Gandhi said the party did not have a major role to play in national politics. All votes polled for the Left parties in the state would indirectly serve as votes for the BJP at the Centre, he said.

In Chengannur in the Mavelikkara constituency, Gandhi said while the Congress had come out with a “people’s manifesto” for the Lok Sabha election, the BJP had not been able to even release a manifesto. Winding up the day in the Attingal constituency near Thiruvananthapuram, he said the BJP was running a campaign pegged to the idea that “one man” will deliver India everything that India needs, but the Congress was striving to hand power over to “every single citizen” of the country.

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