India does not need govt that makes Hindus fight Muslims: Rahul

Last Updated 21 April 2014, 08:49 IST

Making a strong pitch for a ''pro-poor, secular government'' at the Centre, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today said India does not need a government that ''makes Hindus fight Muslims'' in an apparent dig at BJP.

Addressing an election rally here, he said that since these were Lok Sabha elections, local Tamil parties, with which Congress failed to enter into a poll-pact, will not form the government at Delhi.

"You must ensure that a pro-poor, secular government comes to power at Delhi. We don't need a government that promotes hate and anger. We don't need a government that makes Hindus fights Muslims," he said.

The country also did not require a government that "imposes ideas from one state on another," he added.

Seeking to enthuse workers who are putting up with the stiff challenge as the party is facing the polls alone, Gandhi said he was happy that Congress was fighting the elections by itself as there was no need for any compromise.

"I am proud to see our workers all charged up and ready to fight elections and ready to fight under Congress banner. Now we will not have to compromise," he said.

Congress' long-time ally DMK had walked out of the UPA coalition in March 2013, citing the emotive Sri lankan Tamils issue even as the Dravidian major had spurned the national party's offers for a pre-poll alliance this year.

Voicing confidence that his party will put up a good show in the April 24 Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi said Congress would not confine its fight to this LS polls alone but also fight and come to power in the state in the future.

The party was last routed in the 1967 Assembly elections when DMK under its founder C N Annadurai first wrested power from the national party and has been piggybacking on either DMK or AIADMK.

Taking a dig at BJP's Prime Ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, Gandhi said that while he talks of the Gujarat model of development, he should witness the Tamil Nadu model,indicating that the southern state fared better, a claim made by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

"Tamil Nadu has not only shown India but the rest of the world what Tamil people are capable of doing. Mr Modi talks about the Gujarat model, may be he should come here and take a look at the Tamil (Nadu) model," he said.

Gandhi, making his first stop in Tamil Nadu where Congress is fighting from all 39 constituencies, listed out the achievements during 10 years of UPA rule like the Food Security Act and Right to Information Act, which, he said, had empowered the people.

While the opposition (BJP) talks of corruption, it has made no proposal to end it, he said, citing the saffron party's election manifesto.

However, by empowering people with RTI, Congress was "responsible for making corruption visible to people," as they can question the government and those running it on any issue related to governance, he added.

Claiming credit for Congress for passage of the Lokpal Bill, he termed it as a "tremendous weapon against corruption," even as he charged the opposition with trying to stall it.
"They did not allow Parliament to run, came into the well of the House but eventually we passed the Lokpal Bill," he said, adding some more anti-corruption bills were waiting to be passed, but maintained that if opposition was really concerned about corruption, they should have helped pass them.

Asserting that the Congress government was committed to making the lives of 70 crore people who were just below the middle class better, he said this could be achieved only by providing jobs to millions of people and promised efforts in this regard.

He said a big infrastructure corridor covering Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata will be created and this would have highways, power plants and dedicated railway lines among others and India would work with Japan for this project.

Further, a slew of factories and manufacturing units would usher in the much-needed mass employment, he said,adding this would pave way for Indian products being exported to many countries, much like China was doing now.

Banking on various pro-poor measures, including enacting the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, (Land Acquisition Act), he said it promised a better deal for farmers,promising four times the market rates as compensation.

On the lines of the Food Security Act, he promised to bring in right to medicines and minor surgeries and homes.

Dwelling on women's empowerment, he said that the "first thing" UPA-III would do after coming back to power would be to pass the Women's Reservation Bill, stuck in the Lok Sabha.

He recalled the Congress-led government had removed the nine-cylinder ceiling on subsidised LPG cylinders after women raised concerns.
Gandhi also promised to solve the fishermen's issue.

(Published 21 April 2014, 08:49 IST)

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