Rahul kick starts election campaign in Kerala

Kozhikode: Congress president Rahul Gandhi yesterday launched the party’s campaign for the upcoming elections in Kerala.

Speaking at the massive election rally, Rahul slammed the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala and BJP-RSS for allegedly indulging in violence. He accused both the parties for using violence which is the weapon of the weak.

Rahul once again flayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the controversial Rafale deal. He said that Modi wanted two Indias – one for the 15-20 friends of his and the other for the rest of the people.

He claimed that while ideological battle was going on in the country, he was happy to come to a state where people of different ideas and religions live happily together. The Congress was the voice of the country and not just the voice of one person or a community.

He once again promised that a Minimum Guarantee Income would be provided to all citizens if the Congress party is voted to power. “While Congress listens to to everyone, RSS wants to tell India what to do. They have an ideology which they are convinced about and they want to tell everybody that their ideology is the truth,” he said.

Taking a jibe at Modi, Rahul compared the people of India to the ocean, he said the BJP/RSS was like a person who talks to the ocean and wants to control the waves rather than listening to it. Gandhi said he meets the press every week and they are free to ask him any question. Whereas Modi every week he tells the country what he thinks. “Like a man who gets up in the morning, stands in front of the ocean and tells the ocean what he thinks. Week after week the man comes to ocean and tells the ocean what he thinks. And what the man does not realise is that the ocean does not care about what he thinks.” He said that it was Modi’s job to listen to people’s ‘mann ki baat’ and not tell them his ‘mann ki baat’.

“The congress party is not going to allow anybody to get away from Justice. It doesn’t matter even if he is the prime minister of India. Nobody is going to be allowed to steal from the Air Force,” Gandhi said. Gandhi also lashed out at Modi for his silence over the rape allegation against a BJP MLA in Uttar Pradesh.

Attacking the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala, he said the left party thinks they can remain in power through violence. He further referred to the killing of two youth congress activists Kripesh and Sarath Lal last month. Kerala was land of justice and the two men would get justice, he promised. He later visited their parents and consoled them.

“There are no jobs. Three lakh women in the cashew industry have lost their jobs… many cashew processing units have been closed,” he said flaying the ruling government.

Earlier in the day yesterday, Rahul took part in the National Fishermen Parliament at Triprayar in Thrissur district and interacted with the fishermen there and listened to their grievances. He accused Modi of ignoring voices of farmers, fishermen and small businessmen. The NDA government listened only to industrialists such as Anil Ambani and Nirav Modi, he alleged.

During the interaction, he also sarcastically said under the BJP rule only 30 to 40 people in the country were getting the benefits of Indian banking system. He promised more bank loans to young entrepreneurs who can generate jobs if Congress is voted to power.

NT Bureau