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No party can defeat Congress if it works for poor: Rahul

india Updated: Aug 21, 2009 22:22 IST

No political party, be it the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Left, can defeat the Congress if it sticks to its ideology of "working for poor people", party general secretary Rahul Gandhi held in Raipur on Friday.

"Congress loses elections only when it fails to follow the party's ideology of working for poor people," Gandhi said at a press conference at the Chhatisgarh capital, adding: "Congress will try its best to ensure every poor person lives with self-respect."

He said India is progressing fast, though one part of the country is recording a growth of about 7.5 per cent the other part is deprived from benefiting from development, which is seen in Chhattisgarh also.

"My target is to ensure India's both sides taste the fruit of development and each Indian lives with self-respect," he said.

Gandhi observed: "My father (former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi) said 85 paisa out of every rupee earmarked for development fails to reach real beneficiaries. It is still happening because poor people have no identity."

To a question when he would choose to be prime minister, he asserted that making efforts for ending the gap between the poor and the rich is more important.

The Congress leader, who reached Chhattisgarh late Thursday evening on a two-day visit, interacted with members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the party's students wing, in Jagdalpur, Raipur, Bilaspur and Korba towns and left for New Delhi on Friday evening.

Gandhi had a separate meting on Friday with Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee office-bearers, delegates and district unit chiefs where he sought the party leaders' views on why the Congress had lost all the elections in the state since Nov 2003 when it lost power to the BJP.

According to Congress sources, most of the party leaders openly told him that infighting among senior leaders was the prime reason for the party's repeated losses.