Declaring his father Rajiv Gandhi as his hero who fought to change the system and narrating incidents from rural areas, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said his party’s ‘dharma’ was to empower the urban and rural poor of the country.
“According to facts, we say that we make more roads than the BJP, we build more airports than the BJP, we make more railway lines than them, but we also follow our dharma—which is, we empower the urban and rural poor,” Gandhi said.
Speaking at a rally held here, Gandhi also vouched for making Indore one of the five industrial capitals of the country within the next ten years, but added this depended on the Congress coming to power after the next state elections.
Narrating an instance from rural Maharashtra, Gandhi said that a village woman dreamt of her children being IAS officers and businessmen. He asked the woman if the government and law and order officers assisted her in realizing her dreams, and she answered in the negative.
“This is the story of India—that, whenever someone wants to fight their battle for their dreams, they fight it alone. It is because their dreams get suppressed,” Gandhi said.
“My father fought the same battle. I saw him everyday fight the same battle. My father was my hero. You see your own parents—your heroes—fight their battles, while the system keeps coming down on them. Until we change this, until we free every Indian, until the police, the government and educations systems don’t help the public, the people cannot go on fighting their battles alone,” he added.
Gandhi used the opportunity to promise the crowd that his party would not only bring infrastructure development, but, would also empower the poor in Indore.
“It’s been ten years and neither has the BJP been able to make Indore the country’s commercial capital, nor are they capable of it. We made Mumbai, we made Bangalore, we made Pune, we made Hyderabad. We freed the people, we connected them with the rest of the world. I challenge you that in ten years, Indore will be the top five commercial capitals of the country,” Gandhi said.
“We will give you infrastructure. The power in your youth, your women, your children will be supported by us. It will be a partnership between the Indore public and the Congress Party. …If you believe in your dreams, I am standing with you,” he assured.
Gandhi also told the people that to become the commercial capital, the government of Madhya Pradesh has to listen to the people.
“This is the public who is screaming, it is the combined voices of the youth who are screaming for employment, for roads, for water. The government has to listen to them. The people have to be made free. The day the youth is set free, Indore will be the commercial capital,” Gandhi said.
“Together with the Congress leaders present here, you have the power to make Indore the commercial capital of the country. We will ensure that funds are spent in the right places. We will give you infrastructure. We will bring back the industries and businesses who are running away from your state. The youth will get employment,” he added.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, likely chief ministerial candidate Jyotiraditya Scindia and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath were also present at the rally.