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Rahul Gandhi faces tough grilling at minority leaders' meeting

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 - 7:24am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday faced a rough weather here at a meeting with prominent minority leaders and intellectuals, when he lamented at the continuing sense of fear and insecurity amongst minority community.

At a second such public meeting to collect inputs for the manifesto for 2014 Lok Sabha elections, participants questioned him to spell out who was responsible for this “insecurity” and “fear”, when his party has been in power for most of the time over past 60 years.

Rahul Gandhi, who spent an hour with the participants at Jawahar Bhawan, narrated his dialogue with a child riot victim at the Muzaffarnagar camp. “The child told me, he is feeling insecure and fears for his life. We need to set up a structure in the country, where nobody fears and feels secure,” he said.  Taking a cue from Aam Aadmi Party, Congress plans two more such public consultations, before the leaders sit down to draft manifesto. Earlier, the public consultations were held to formulate electoral promises on Dalits and OBCs. The AAP had initiated it during the Delhi elections.

The three issues which came up reputedly during discussions were putting efforts in promoting education, ensuring security and job opportunities. The participants quizzed party leadership on Communal Violence Bill, planned in 2004,in the aftermath of 2002 Gujarat riots and the setting up of Equal Opportunity Commission. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who took up the stage, promised to table the Communal Violence Bill, as soon as the Rajya Sabha assembles again. But, he explained that most of the provisions were compromised due to reservations from state governments to respect federal structure. On the EOC, he admitted there were differences of opinion within the government, but many issues have been sorted out. He said a cabinet note was ready and the Commission could be now set up soon.

Meanwhile, members of the Jat community met Rahul Gandhi to thank him after the Cabinet asked the backward classes commission to expeditiously take a call on providing reservation to the community.

Why are you blaming others?
Participants at the meeting of prominent minority leaders in Delhi asked Rahul Gandhi to spell out who was responsible for this “insecurity” and “fear”, when his party (Congress) has been in power for most of the time over past 60 years.

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