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BJP has no heart for tribals: Rahul Gandhi

Monday, 31 March 2014 - 10:05pm IST | Agency: PTI

Playing the pro-tribal and pro-poor card in the Maoist-affected tribal heartland of Bastar, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today accused BJP of having "no heart" for tribals and the downtrodden.

"Congress party works for everyone, for tribals, poor, Dalits and the downtrodden. For us, Hindus and Muslims are equal. We consider everyone equal," he said at a public meeting in Kondagaon district headquarters of Bastar Lok Sabha constituency in Chhattisgarh.

Addressing his party rally at Kondgaon stadium grounds, the same place where BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had addressed a rally, Rahul Gandhi said Congress always focusedon empowering tribals, the poor and the downtrodden, while the BJP had "no heart" for tribals and the poor.

Describing Chhattisgarh as a rich land of poor people, he said the state is bestowed with natural resources but its benefits do not reach the common man.

"We are not against development and industrialisation but the land goes into the hands of a few select people, while farmers do not get even proper price of development," he said.

Attacking BJP over corruption, he said the party had turned a blind eye towards corruption in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
"They say that they are fighting against corruption.

Don't they see corruption in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh? Their Karnataka chief minister was jailed due to corruption, while in Gujarat, three ministers went to jail," Rahul said.

He said the UPA government's major programmes were based on development of the poor, of which MNREGA is an example under which lakhs of people benefited. 

In its manifesto, Congress has promised to make health and education a right of the people, he said.

Taking a dig at BJP's campaign, Rahul Gandhi said that development would take place by working for welfare of tribals, the poor as well as farmers and not by merely releasing "India Shining" and "Gujarat model" "balloons".

The worst Maoist affected Bastar seat is scheduled to go to polls during the first phase of Lok Sabha elections in Chhhatisgarh on April 10.

The Congress has fielded the son of former leader of opposition late Mahendra Karma, Deepak Karma from this seat, where sitting MP Dinesh Kashyap is the BJP nominee.

Mahendra Karma was among Congress leaders who were killed in the May 25 Jiram Valley Maoist attack in Bastar last year.

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