Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Monday, in an election rally in Anantnag town of Jammu and Kashmir, said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) practises "politics of division and anger" while the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) stands for "love, friendship and future".
“I have not come here today as a politician, but as a young man who extends his hand of friendship to the youth of Kashmir. Your vote this time is not for the National Conference (NC) or the People's Democratic Party (PDP). It is for the (Congress-led) UPA or the (Bharatiya Janata Party-led) NDA," Rahul said.
“You have to choose whether you want Manmohan Singh to be the next prime minister of the country or (L.K.) Advani. The choice is clear,” he said.
Rahul also said that the state had witnessed a surge in development works during the UPA rule.
“I saw your railway line today. It happened during the UPA rule. Srinagar airport is now an international airport and this all has happened during the UPA rule.
“The UPA wants to carry everybody along on the road to progress while the NDA believes in selective progress of some states of the country,” Rahul told a gathering of nearly 6,000 people.
Rahul said his grandmother, former prime minister Indira Gandhi, had a special relationship with Kashmir.
“I have come here as a young boy with my grandmother. She had a special place for Kashmir in her heart. Pandit (Jawaharlal) Nehru and Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah were close friends and now today I have come here to renew and continue that friendship with your young and dynamic leader Omar Abdullah."
Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, addressing the rally, said: “Voting for the NC candidate would be for choosing between peace and war. The UPA wants progress and dialogue with Pakistan for permanent peace in the state.
“The NDA wants war. The decision is yours. The PDP has already indicated that they would side with the NDA in the next Lok Sabha. It is for you to defeat their design by voting for us,” Omar Abdullah said.
Besides Abdullah, Rahul was accompanied by Union Water Resources Minister Saif-ud-Din Soz, Congress general secretary Prithviraj Chavan, state Education Minister Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed and the NC candidate for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat Mirza Mehboob Beg.
Voting in Anantnag is scheduled for April 30 and the election campaign ends Tuesday.