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Rahul Gandhi woos farmers, youth with promise of bright future

The revival of various small and medium industries, employment opportunities for the youth and alleviation of farmers’ distress figured prominently in Gandhi’s address.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 05, 2019 02:31 IST
Sadia Akhtar
Sadia Akhtar
rahul gandhi,farmers,youth
Gurugram, India-May 04, 2019: Congress President Rahul Gandhi along senior leaders seen during a rally, at sector-5 Huda Ground, in Gurugram, India, on Saturday, May 04, 2019. (Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)

Keeping his focus on job creation and tackling farmers’ issues, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that his party was committed to putting the city on the growth map.

The revival of various small and medium industries, employment opportunities for the youth and alleviation of farmers’ distress figured prominently in Gandhi’s address. This was the first big-ticket rally of the Congress in the city before the Lok Sabha polls on May 12.

Addressing a crowd of thousands at the Ramlila Ground in Sector 5, Gandhi said, “I will never say that the Congress made the city, as it now stands. The people of Gurgaon have made this city, but the Congress has always extended its support to the people.”

Speaking about his poll promises, Gandhi said that the party’s flagship scheme, NYAY, would revive the economy.

“We have brought the NYAY Yojana for you all. Under the scheme, poorest of the poor will benefit. Every month, Rs 6,000 and Rs 72,000, yearly, will go straight into the bank account of the people whose monthly income is less than Rs 12,000,” he said.

He said that NYAY would help revive the small and medium scale enterprises that had suffered due to demonetisation and “Gabbar Singh Tax” (alluding to the Goods and Services Tax).

He also emphasised on the proposed ‘historic changes’ that the party would bring to enable youngsters to start their own ventures.

“Gurgaon is an IT centre of the country. We will turn it into the world’s business centre. Youngsters will no longer have to wait to start a business in Gurgaon. We are taking a historic step. No permission will be needed to start a business after 2019,” said Gandhi.

Gandhi also reached out to the farmers and said that a dedicated Kisan Budget would ease their troubles.

“You’ll not have to be at the mercy of a government that doesn’t care. We will bring in two budgets, with one budget solely dedicated to the farmers. The minimum support price for your crops, compensation amount and storage facilities will all be decided at the beginning of the year,” said Gandhi.

Taking a shot at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said that the Centre had done little for the city in the last five years. “What has he done for Gurgaon? Did he bring the Metro?” Gandhi asked. “He promised jobs to two crore people, ₹15 lakh in every account and doubling of farmers’ income. All lies,” he said.

Gandhi said that Congress candidate Captain (retd) Ajay Yadav had served in the army and is now seeking a chance to serve the people of Gurgaon.

People at the rally said that Gandhi’s message had resonated with them.

“He said everything in simple words. There was no showing off. There were no ‘jumlas’ (platitudes),” said Dr NK Sharma, 67, a resident of Sector 9.

Aas Mohammad, 57, came from Mewat to listen to Gandhi. “I liked everything that he said. It struck a chord,” he said.

Reacting to Gandhi’s comments, Haryana BJP spokesperson Raman Malik, said, “There were empty chairs in the rally. I have held a rally at the same place and I think the turnout could, at best, be around 7,000-8,000. This is nothing for a person like Rahul Gandhi.”

First Published: May 05, 2019 02:31 IST

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