Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said his party could learn a lot from the functioning of the state unit in Kerala and asked people to vote for the Congress so that Kasaragod could be transformed into an industrialized hub.
"I think politics and participation of people in Kerala's panchayat is something that the rest of the country must learn from. I think the Congress Party at the Centre can also learn from the Congress Party in Kerala. Of course, there are shortcoming in the political system of Kerala, and the biggest shortcoming are opponents of the Congress in the state. There should be no place for violence or that of intimidation in the politics of Kerala. So, I would like to thank the people of Kerala for giving a vision of future politics for the rest of the country. Oommen Chandy is the chief minister of the state, but the reality of Kerala is that it is not run by one man, it is run by millions of Keralites . Chandy understand the issues of people of Kerala as a senior leader," Rahul said.
The Gandhi scion also trashed the opposition for their ideas on developing the country and termed that it was only the Congress which can give a balanced growth.
"For any society to move forward, one needs prosperity and fairness. Prosperity for a few people breaks down very quickly, fairness for everybody with prosperity also faces the same fate. If you look back in history, popular leaders during that time succeeded as they applied balance between the two. At the national level, there are broadly three ideas. The NDA idea is of India Shinning, an India where 5 to 15 business people have everything, where prosperity is limited to very few people. On the other side, you have a vision for them, prosperity, industry, business is of no consequence. They talk about fairness, which is actually a recipe to keep everyone poor and failed. It is only the Congress party which keeps everything balanced," Gandhi said.
"What the opposition don't realize is that success always comes from partnership. Suceess for the UPA has come over the last ten years, because we built a partnership between different people of this country, be it Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and various states. When we came with rights based paradigm like Right to Food, Right to Work or Right to Information, we did not categorise it for one particular community, we guaranteed it for all. The Congress Party tries to reduce anger in the society, but the opposition particularly the BJP plays on the anger and tries to divide you. They feel that if they can make the people of India fight, then they will not question when just a few business people have all the power with them and take away all your resources and wealth," Gandhi added.
Rahul also indirectly attacked Modi for the latter's remark on making himself the nation's chowkidar or guardian.
"If you look at their campaign, one of the statements of their leader states that he is the 'Chowkidar'. In contrast, within the Congress, we do not want just one Chowkidar, but millions, as we believe in the billion plus population of India. We want to give more power to youngsters and women of this country," Gandhi said.
Rahul Gandhi also talked about making Kasaragod an industrialized hub.
"Although, we say that there should be industry in Kasaragod, but we must remember people must benefit from it. We can see the potential of Kasaragod as you have the land available, best quality people, sea, rail and road access. I would like to see that Kasaragod is known around the world as an industrialized city. That's why we have selected an young candidate and can change the thinking so that he has a long future vision. Another reason why I want you to select the young man from here so that he can sit beside me in not only bringing the issues of Kasaragod but taking forward the country," Gandhi added.
The Congress vice-president also talked about his plans of lifting the lives of approximately 70 crore people who are below the middle class but above the poverty line graduating them into middle class in next five years.
"I want to tell you what we are going to do if we win the 2014 elections, over the last ten years we have taken out 15 crores out of poverty, now our aim is to strengthen those people who are above the poverty line but below the middle class such as the carpenters, taxi drivers. Our focus would be to try bringing those 70 crore people who fall in this category to be brought into middle class in the next five years. We want to open the doors of the education and the healthcare system to these people and their families," Gandhi said.