Sagar/Indore, Oct 24: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Thursday continued his aggressive stance against the BJP in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, saying the ruling party in the state was far removed from the concerns of the poor and played divisive politics.
“The BJP’s politics is the politics of air-conditioners and industrialists,” Gandhi said while addressing a rally at Sagar town in the backward Bundelkhand region which straddles Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Later in Indore, he said that while the BJP divided people for political gains, the Congress worked for the development of all.
“The (BJP) thought it will not gain in UP (Uttar Pradesh) till it divided people,” Gandhi said referring to the recent Muzaffarnagar riots in which over 40 people were killed and thousands displaced.
“They stoke the fire and we have to douse it,” he said.
This is the second leg of his campaign in the state.
In Sagar, Gandhi, highlighting the pro-poor Food Security Act and the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act, said the BJP opposed the Right to Food law, asking how it would be funded.
“When it comes to giving food to the poor, the BJP opposed the food bill, saying where will the money for it come from,” he said.
On the land acquisition law, he said “the farmer and the labourer should also get the market rate for his land, like the rich” and added that the government has hiked compensation for land four times.
Targeting the BJP government, ruling the state since 1998, Gandhi said: “While the poor people of the state are having a difficult time, the ministers are happy.”
“Did ‘India Shining’ (BJP’s national campaign of 2004) bring development to you,” he asked, claiming that the Congress engages in the politics of development and empowerment of people.
Gandhi reminded people that he had come to the backward region in 2008 during a drought and spent nights with people there, getting bitten by mosquitoes and drinking village well water. He said he had taken ill, but was happy with it all.
“It was good. Leaders should know what village life is like,” he said.
Claiming that the United Progressive Alliance government had built more roads in the country than were built during the tenure of the National Democratic Alliance, Gandhi said he wanted “the poor of the region and their next generation to drive cars”.
Reminding people of the central financial package worth thousands of crores of rupees for the region in 2008, he assured that the central government will provide more, if needed, to make Bundelkhand a prosperous region.
He told the people that “there will be a Congress government of the poor and the youth in the state”.
In Indore, Gandhi promised to develop the western Madhya Pradesh city as a commercial city on par with Mumbai and Bangalore if the Congress was voted to power in the state.
“You must dream big. Five or six factories may not be enough. In 10 years, Indore will be counted as a commercial capital,” he said.
The assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh are scheduled for Nov 25.