Congress confident of winning Gujarat poll: Rahul

Congress confident of winning Gujarat poll: Rahul

Congress president designate Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday exuded confidence that his party would win the ongoing Assembly election in Gujarat.

Addressing his maiden press conference after being declared President designate of the party, Rahul said that this time his party was fighting the polls as a united force. "After first phase of voting (on December 9), we are confident that we are going to form a government," he said. "After 22 years, Congress has stood on its own feet. Now Congress is speaking by standing in front of BJP and challenging it."

Rahul said that elections were won on a narrative. "The party that keeps its narrative intact wins. If you see, BJP has been unable to do so. They have been unable to form a narrative. There is kind of hollowness in BJP."

He then went on to criticise BJP's rule in Gujarat. "What has been done in 22 years in Gujarat? Are there doctors in hospitals in Gujarat? Are there jobs in Gujarat? Small and medium enterprises are job creators but they get no support from the government."

Asked about his recent penchant for visiting temples in Gujarat, Rahul countered if there was any ban on going to temples? "It is BJP's story that I visit temples only in Gujarat. I have even visited Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand. Is Kedarnath in Gujarat?"

Elaborating, Rahul said that normally he addressed public meetings but this time he visited temples as he was on a yatra across the state. "I felt good (visiting temples). All I asked during my multiple temple visits was a golden future for the people of Gujarat, for youth," he said.

On how Congress proposes to fulfill its poll promises, Rahul said that Congress would focus on "balanced development" against BJP's one-sided development. "Irrational economic policies of the BJP government have damaged Gujarat. We will abolish contract labour, fixed pay system in Gujarat. We will never take any decision unilaterally in Gujarat but listen to the people," he said. "Our record is there. We don't talk in the air. We have waived farm loans of Rs 75,000 crore (during UPA I)," he said.

Politics of love

Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacking him at public rallies, Rahul said he would not repay in kind.   "I am not going to use any filthy language against him as he is my Prime Minister, too," he said. Rahul added that   he had made his position clear by taking stern action against Mani Shankar Aiyar for his abusive remarks. But, Modiji's choice of words for former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were also not acceptable.

Rahul Gandhi, who is slated to take over as President of Congress party on December 16, said that his priority would be to strengthen the party. "I also would like to change the discourse of politics. It has become nasty, ugly and there is a lot of anger and angst. We want to do politics of love and compassion," he added.

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