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Rahul Gandhi sounds poll bugle in Himachal, names Virbhadra as party’s CM face

india Updated: Oct 07, 2017 23:00 IST

Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh (right) welcomes Rahul Gandhi during a rally in Mandi on Saturday.(PTI Photo)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi kicked off party’s election campaign in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday and declared incumbent chief minister Virbhadra Singh as their CM face for the year-end polls.

Addressing ‘Vikas se Vijay’ rally at Mandi town, Gandhi said, “He (Virbhadra) is a six time chief minister and I am confident he will become the chief minister for a seventh time. Congress stands by Virbhadra and we will ensure that the party again forms a government in Himachal with a thumping majority”.

Launching an attack on Prime Minister Narender Modi, the 47-year-old Congress leader said “the person who doesn’t listen to the people of the country has no right to rule”.

Modi, during the 2014 general election had promised two crore jobs, but still unemployment remains one of the biggest challenges the country faced, the Congress vice-president said during the rally.

“Gujarat alone has 50 lakh unemployed youth and this is due to Modi’s failed economic policies,” Gandhi said.

He claimed that anger was building up among the youth against the Centre and said more farmers were forced to commit suicides in BJP-ruled states due to the apathy of the right-wing party’s governments.

Targeting Prime Minister Modi’s Gujarat development model, the Lok Sabha parliamentarian from Amethi said Himachal Pradesh had seen more development than Gujarat in just the last five years.

“In Himachal Pradesh, jobless youth get ?1,000 as unemployment allowance while Gujarat government gives them nothing. Himachal government has set up 1,500 new schools and four new medical colleges while Gujarat’s score is zero. Instead, they closed down 13,000 government schools in five years,” the Congress leader added.

First Published: Oct 07, 2017 23:00 IST