All India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi addressed his first-ever electoral rally in Delhi on Wednesday, once again choosing a reserved assembly segment, Seemapuri, to reach out to voters.
Gandhi also took out a roadshow in support of Anil Chaudhry, Delhi Youth Congress chief and candidate from the Patparganj assembly seat. Often breaching the security barricades, Gandhi stopped to meet people who had gathered at Shashi Garden, Kotla Village, Trilokpuri, Mayur Vihar and East Vinod Nagar.
The large crowd that had gathered to catch a glimpse of the leader stood on their chairs to get a better view. “They (BJP) are raising the issue of terrorism as they have failed in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh on the development front,” said Gandhi.
Speaking in Hindi, Gandhi lashed out at the BJP, saying the party was more focused on criticising the Congress than devicing a plan of the country. “When you want to form a government or come to power, the most important thing is to have a dream for the nation. Sheilaji has been able to do so much because she had a dream,” he said. DPCC president Jai Prakash Aggarwal also praised Dikshit for “making Delhi what it is today”.
Attacking the BJP for its scathing advertising campaign in the city, Gandhi said this was an old strategy of the party, but the people knew better. “Last elections (Lok Sabha polls), we said the poor should be looked after, the BJP said ‘India is shining, vote for us’. This time, too, they are doing the same thing. They are saying Congress has not done this or that, but they have no idea what they want to do. I have seen Malhotraji’s (V.K. Malhotra) website, and the BJP manifesto dedicates five out of 10 pages to criticising the Congress,” Gandhi said.
Praising the Dikshit government for its work, Gandhi said the city had changed a lot in the last 10 years. “I also live in Delhi. I can see the development, the flyovers. On my way, I saw a super-specialty hospital under construction. When I have visitors from abroad, they say the city has changed so much, they can’t recognise the roads. New roads and flyovers are coming up — things change every few months,” said Gandhi.
The rally was located strategically close to the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital and a water tank.
“We have improved the water situation here. Sonia Vihar plant has assured that houses in east Delhi get water from the Ganga,” said Dikshit. The area also has a large number of Muslim voters, for whom Dikshit had the promise of computer education in madrasas. “We do not want to interfere in any kind of religious education, but modern education is also required,” she said.
The Tahirpur venue was especially chosen as it flanks four crucial assembly seats — Seelampur, Gokulpur (reserved SC seat), Rohtash Nagar and Shahdara.