Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that there is no issue more important than poverty in the country and that he will stand by the poor. He also accused the opposition of being "ashamed" of India's poor.
"My politics is very simple. As long as there are poor people in India I will stand by them. I don't care what his religion is, what his caste is, what his colour is and where he comes from. If he is an Indian and poor, I will stand by him," he said.
Addressing his first election meeting in Andhra Pradesh at Ankapalli in Visakhaptnam district, he said the Congress party was proud of the spirit of the poor people while the opposition parties were ashamed of the poor people.
"I don't believe in hiding things I am proud of and I don't believe in hiding the spirit of the poor. The difference between the Congress party and opponents... We are proud of the poor people of India. We believe in the poor people of India and they are ashamed of the poor in India."
He pointed out how the opposition parties criticised him when he invited a British minister to a village in his constituency to show him the spirit of the poor.
He said India's strength was the spirit of its poor people as they faced difficulties with a smile and they believe in this country.
"There is no difference between the poor and the rich person except for opportunity. We want to bring opportunity to the poor," Gandhi said.
The young MP said that the Congress believes that if India is to move forward, every citizen has to move forward with it.
"Our opposition, on the other hand, believes that India can move forward by leaving large parts of India and large groups of India behind," he said.
"We believe in building in Hyderabad and we also believe in the rest of Andhra Pradesh. We don't leave at Hyderabad. That is the difference between what our chief minister has done and what the previous government did," he said without naming Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
The Congress party does not want the poor people to be poor any more, Gandhi said and listed out the schemes implemented by the Congress governments at the centre and in the state.