Emphasising that the Congress is an ideology imbibed in the Indian psyche for years, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said here Wednesday that "anybody who wants to destroy it will be thrown out".
Reacting to the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) election call to rid the country of the Congress, Rahul said "the opposition parties must read history to understand how difficult that would be". "If they did, they would understand that Congress is not an organisation, it is an ideology that rests within all of us. Those who wanted to destroy that idea were thrown out. We will send the BJP packing, with love -- in the same way we sent out the British," Rahul said at a massive election rally here Wednesday evening.
Rahul said that unlike the opposition, the Congress believed in action and not propaganda. He said the party had worked hard to improve the lives of the country's poor and women and give them their rights.
Accusing the BJP of trying to centralise power in one person, he said it was a fallacy that one man alone could replicate in a few months the combined efforts of Indians over the past 60 years. "Power in the hands of the people is the only way we can move forward," Rahul said, amidst applause from the gathering.
Accusing the BJP of adopting dual standards on corruption, he said it (BJP) did not come forward when the Congress wanted to pass the key anti-graft legislation in parliament. "The BJP has no business speaking about corruption when it can see graft in its backyard. There are corrupt ministers in the Gujarat government ... a former BJP chief minister of Karnataka had been jailed for corruption. But the BJP does not see any corruption there," he said amidst cheers.
He spoke on Maharashtra's mega-infrastructure project Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, which started two days ago, and said it would make a hub of the manufacturing industry besides generating lakhs of jobs.
Rahul lauded Maharashtra for being the single biggest destination for foreign direct investment in the country and contributing 17% to India's gross domestic product. Present at the rally - the first major political event after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections schedule was announced Wednesday morning - were Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre and other senior ministers and leaders.