Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said his tours across the country in the past six years have made him understand the two "Indias" - one which is fast moving while the other that is lagging behind - and noted that only his party could connect the two diverse sides.
Rising to speak after vociferous demands from party workers, Gandhi, 40, said that his tours also made him understand that only the poor can take the country forward.
"I have understood two things. First, only the poor people can take the country forward. And if we have to take the poor people forward, the Prime Minister's (Manmohan Singh) strategy for economic growth is a necessity," he said at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting at Talkatora stadium in New Delhi.
"It is the Congress which can work to connect both the Indias," he added.
During the meeting, Gandhi sat in the back row on the dais.
The Congress leader said starting the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme at the initiative of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi was the biggest step taken forward to help the poor in rural areas.
"The Congress is the only organisation which can work for the good of the people and the country. It is the party for the common man. It does not work for any religion or caste, but for the country," Gandhi said in his address.
He said he was "proud" to be a member of the Congress, which is gaining strength.
The Congress general secretary also questioned the people who said that the grand old party was finished in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
"People said the party is finished in UP (Uttar Pradesh) and Tamil Nadu, but that is not true. The party must be working for the poor to ensure its growth," he said.
Gandhi also termed the meeting's delegates as the backbone of the Congress.