Rahul says Manmohan Singh is pride of Punjab and the country | india | Hindustan Times
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Rahul says Manmohan Singh is pride of Punjab and the country

india Updated: May 11, 2009 15:43 IST
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday shared the stage for the first time with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a poll rally in Amritsar, describing him as the "pride of Punjab and the country" who had taken India forward in all spheres.

"Manmohan Singh is pride of Punjab and India," Rahul, who is on his third visit to the state during the current Lok Sabha elections, said.

He said the UPA government will always stand for the "aam admi" unlike the NDA, which during its tenure, ignored various sections of society, including the poor, the farmers and the Dalits.

"When the Congress government came to power in 2004, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and we all made just one promise that we will work for the 'aam admi,' farmers of Punjab, mazdoor (labourers), Dalit and it will be there government. We functioned as per our promise," he said, slamming the NDA for "thinking" about the rich and upper classes.

He said the opposition parties made a new promise daily and ridiculed NDA's slogan of 'India shining' during the Lok Sabha elections in 2004, saying the slogan in English was only meant for the privileged.

Gandhi said the BJP leaders told the entire country that India is shining. "But they did not go to the houses of the poor, the farmers, the Dalit and other weaker sections. They just went to the houses of the rich. You (voters) then showed them the door," he said.

Gandhi said the biggest achievement of the UPA in its five year rule was employment guarantee scheme providing for 100 days of assured employment during the year.

Listing out the other achievement of the government, he said the UPA waived agriculture loans worth Rs 70,000 crore and provided right to every citizen of the country to secure any information under the Right to Information Act.

He said the farm loan waiver was worked out after taking the feedback from the farmers who said the loans were the biggest problem.

"Not only the loans worth Rs 70,000 crore were waived, but the doors of the banks were opened for new loans," he said.

Gandhi said the Prime Minister told him that the farmers of Punjab benefited by Rs 2,000 crore due to the hike in the MSP prices. "We have worked for the poor, the backward and other such classes," he said exuding confidence that Manmohan Singh would become the Prime Minister again so that all sections can prosper.

During his earlier visits to the state on May 5 and May 9, Rahul addressed election rallies at Barnala, Mohali, Ludhiana, Moga and Hoshiarpur.