Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi talked about women and development in the northeast and Nido Taniam's death while addressing a rally in Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday in an attempt to garner support ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi addresses an election rally in Dadri. The party may not be able to capitalise on his goodwill because of poor organisational structure and infighting. PTI/Atul Yadav
"When a boy from Arunachal was killed in Delhi recently, I said Hindustan belongs to everyone, all states," he said referring to the death of Nido Taniam, a 19-year old student from Arunachal Pradesh who died in New Delhi in January. Taniam died after a violent argument broke out between him and a shopkeeper in Lajpat Nagar over the colour of his hair and appearance.
Speaking to his supporters at Hapoli in Lower Subansiri district of the stateabout the potential in the north-eastern state, he said, "People have told me Arunachal has potential to supply hydel to all of India."
"Indira Gandhi came here in 1972 and gave you union territory status, Rajiv gave you statehood. Those were big steps you took."
"A lot of work has been done for women in the northeast. All of India should get inspired by the way you treat women."
"Roads, airport, railways have been built here. But the strength of Arunachal is your history and ecology. So, amid development, we must preserve ecology, the languages, the history of Arunachal. Without that, Arunachal, India cannot grow," he said.
"There can be change only when there is devolution of power, when people, panchayats are empowered. That's why Congress gets your support," he said.
"Women should get reservation, that's why we are discussing a law for 33% reservation in Parliament," Gandhi said.
He travels to Meghalaya after this where he will hold a rally at Resubelpara in North Garo Hills district in support of Congress candidate Daryl William Momin, who is contesting against veteran PA Sangma.
On Wednesday, he will travel to Manipur, where he is scheduled to address a rally at Wangjing in Thoubal district.