Taking a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that the Congress was a people-oriented party, unlike the BJP which was about one individual. “We, unlike the BJP, have never said that make somebody prime minister who can solve all yours problems. For us, politics is all about people and they should have power in their hands," Gandhi said at an election rally.
"Why should there be one 'chowkidar' like they (BJP) want. We want to make you (the people) the 'chowkidar' of the country. Hindustan ki chaabhi kisi ek haath me nahi par sabke haath me hona chahiye (The keys of the nation should not be with one person, but in the hands of all Indians)," he said.
The Congress leader, on his third visit to the state for campaigning, attacked the BJP for trying to impose the 'Gujarat model' across the country.
"Assam does not need Gujarat model. We have Assam model here and each state must have their own model. In Gujarat, the poor cannot dream. It is only the rich who can dream but for Congress, every individual has the right to dream. The poor, labourers, farmers have the right to dream of having their children getting better education and employment opportunities," he said.
He said the opposition talked about providing security and empowerment of women, but who had stopped them from doing so. "It is the opposition which stalled the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament guaranteeing 33 per cent reservations to them," Gandhi said.
Gandhi went on to accuse the BJP of riots in Gujarat, tapping phones of women, indulging in violence against people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in Maharashtra, moral policing of women in Bengaluru and their leaders watching pornography in state assemblies.
"The National Democratic Alliance government forgot the poor, farmers and labourers. They create trouble wherever they go because they know that as long as there is peace in the country they will not succeed," he alleged.
"The Congress, however, believes that the nation is like a bouquet where different thoughts, languages, history, religions and cultures flourish. We respect and have regards for all," Gandhi said. The opposition national leaders had neither respect for local language such as Bengali in the BarakValley nor did they have any understanding of local culture and history, he said.
"Congress respects your language, history and culture. Anybody can speak any language anywhere they want, Congress party is everybody's party and not of a single region, language, religion and caste," he said.
Stating that Congress wants every individual to be empowered, he said, "For this, we have already initiated the Panchayati Raj system, women empowerment schemes, Food Security Act, job security and the right to livelihood.
"After we come to power at the Centre, we'll ensure Right to free healthcare and provide free medicines to the poor. We have already successfully tried it out in Rajasthan and Maharashtra and will extend it to the rest of the country," Gandhi said.
The Congress would also ensure the Right to Shelter by providing strong houses and livelihood through manufacturing corridors connecting Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata to make India the world's manufacturing capital and give jobs to crores of youths, he said.