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Rahul charges BJP with a CTRL C, CTRL V of Cong manifesto

By Shahnawaz Akhtar
April 10, 2014 16:23 IST
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In one of his longest speeches, All India Congress Committee vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday tore into the Bharatiya Janata Party’s poll manifesto. The BJP’s manifesto was released on April 7 when the first phase polling of Lok Sabha 2014 had already begun. Shahnawaz Akhtar reports\

“The BJP has removed the hand symbol (Congress’ poll symbol) from the Congress manifesto and changed it with the lotus (BJP’s poll symbol) symbol. What they are saying, they will do, we have already done,” the Gandhi scion said at a gathering at Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu constituency on Thursday.

The address at Jhunjhunu was Rahul’s was the second-longest speech since the Congress got defeated in the assembly polls. In his first speech, Congress vice-president had only spoken for a widely-criticised 7 minutes, but on Thursday, he spoke for 23 minutes

As he started his onslaught on the BJP manifesto, he acidly said, “They are saying they will initiate the One Rank, One Pension scheme in the army. Bhaiya (indicating BJP leaders), don’t you read newspapers? We have already done it.” Rahul chose the issue of army first because Jhunjhunu is known as the area which has a large number of people with army backgrounds.

On the issue of strengthening manufacturing sector, the Congress leader also mentioned that with the help of Japan, the manufacturing is already increasing. “They say, they will empower women, but the Congress has already done so by helping women develop self-help groups, opening only-women banks and providing them bank loans. We will also open 2,000 women police stations in the country,” he claimed.

The Congress’ star campaigner not only targeted the BJP, but its allies also.

“The National Democratic Alliance partner in Andhara Pradesh had said that there was no need of farmers in country, but only computer engineers. In 2004, farmers not only replied, but punctured the ‘India Shining’ balloon. Then again in 2009, that balloon had been diffused. But now, they have filled the balloon again with gas and Gujrat model,” fumed Gandhi.

He pointed out that in 10 years, 70,000 crore (seven times more than the NDA) loan has been provided to farmers in the country. As the Congress member of Parliament openly criticised the BJP, he took potshots at the saffron party’s PM nominee, Narendra Modi’s wish of becoming the chowkidar (watchman) of India.

“This is the difference between them and us. We want the common man to become the chowkidar so we are giving you the rights. We come to you, bow our head and listen to you. While the BJP people think; whatever happens in whole world, in Rajasthan, in Andaman-Nikobar, one man (Modi) knows all,” said he.

“Sometimes, one chowkidar steals. But with crores of people as chowkidars, no one would dare,” he added. Before ending his speech, Rahul also mentioned that the Congress made Sachin Pilot, a young leader as state party chief and gave ticket to a woman (Rajbala Ola) from Jhunjhunu.

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