Technical snags in the Congress vice-president and star campaigner Rahul Gandhi's chopper forced cancellation of his election rally in Gumla — one of the two rallies he was slated to address in Jharkhand on Tuesday - making his supporters there accuse him of fooling them on April Fool's Day.
"He mocked us on April Fool's Day," said angry supporters who waited at the rally ground in Pugo village, around 120 km northwest of capital Ranchi, since forenoon to catch a glimpse of their popular leader.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi during an election campaign meeting for Lok Sabha elections, in Saharanpur. (Chahat Ram/HT)
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"The local leaders lack popularity and confidence. Hence they used Rahul's name to pull crowd in the party rally," said Md Shamim Khan, another Congress supporter returning home disappointed for being unable to hear Rahul.
Ex-IPS-turned-politician, Rameshwar Oraon is contesting for the local seat (Lohardagga) on Congress ticket. He and other state leaders faced the people's ire after Rahul's visit was called off two hours after the schedule time.
Earlier, at the Godda rally, Rahul came down heavily on the BJP leaders for being anti-poor and communal.
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Rahul arrived at the local Mela Maidan around 12.15pm when the scorching sun was burning the skin of rally attenders. There was a better crowd here compared to Gumla, where hardly 3000 people had assembled.
While seeking votes of the party candidate, Furkan Ansari, Rahul said referring to Modi, "He is being so self-centered that he is seeking vote to become the prime minister. I never say you make me the prime minister, instead seeking an opportunity to offer my services to the poor people of this country."
He said that during 2004 and 2009 the BJP had given the slogan of India shining. When the poor, tribals and the minorities voted for the UPA, the India Shining balloon burst.
Focusing on the development of tribals, poor people and women, he said that Hindustan would not emerge a super power until you give women their due share in Parliament and assembly.Read: No first lady for India as Modi, Rahul battle for PM job
"We will implement the right to medical aid if the UPA comes to the power again. A lot of tribal people are not getting proper medical facilities. The health services would be improved," he assured the gathering.
About tribals, he said, "I want to see tribal children working in the IT sector and not just tilling fields. I do not want a Hindustan where the tribals migrate for food and work," he added.
Rahul has to face an odd situation for few minutes when the microphone stopped working during his speech at 12.45pm.