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At Himachal rally, Rahul Gandhi terms RSS ‘poisonous’ outfit

All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday made a scathing attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) calling it a “poisonous” organisation.

punjab Updated: Mar 21, 2014 09:35 IST
Naresh K Thakur
Naresh K Thakur
Hindustan Times
Dharamsala,All India Congress Committee,vice-president

All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday made a scathing attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) calling it a “poisonous” organisation.

Addressing a rally organised at Dharamsala in Kangra district, Gandhi said the opposition BJP wanted to raise a statue of Sardar Patel who served the Congress throughout his life. “Sardar Patel had said that the RSS is a poisonous outfit and its thinking could destroy the country,” said Gandhi.

The Congress vice-president said the nation could be ruled in two ways -- either by adopting Gandhi’s ideology of “love and brotherhood” or by dividing people and “provoking anger”. “The opposition will have to think which way they want to go,” said Gandhi, adding that in politics one needed a broader vision.

Taking a jibe at the BJP, Gandhi said, “The opposition always talks of “dharma”, but if one reads the Gita he would realise that what they do is exactly the opposite of what is written in the religious book,” he added.

Gandhi said the opposition had always tried to stall the progressive programmes of the Congress in Parliament. Without naming veteran BJP leaders LK Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Congress leader said when former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi talked about computers and cell phones, the two senior leaders of the opposition opposed the move in Parliament saying they would ruin the country and its youth and farmers.

“But when computers were successfully introduced in India they claimed credit for it,” he alleged, adding that the same could be said about Himachal Pradesh when the statehood was opposed by the opposition leaders.
Listing the achievements of the 10-year rule of the UPA, Gandhi said it was able to pull out 15 crore people from below poverty line and gave them the right to work. “The FDI in retail sector was brought by the Congress to ensure that the produce of the farmers does not rot and the land acquisition bill ensures that farmers get the deserved dues for their land,” said Gandhi, adding that the Right to Information Act is a big tool to empower the common man.

Spelling out his agenda, Gandhi said the Congress wanted to induct 70 crore people of India, who were below middle class and above the poverty line, into the middle class.

“Education will be an essential tool to bring about this change. I feel lesser people have access to higher education. We want more and more youth to get higher education easily,” said Gandhi.

He said to create more employment avenues the manufacturing sector needed to be strengthened for which the UPA had created a special freight corridor between DelhiMumbai-Chennai and DelhiKolkata.

Wooing the women electorate, Gandhi said that it was on their demand that the cap on LPG cylinder was raised from 9 to 12.

“We want 50% women in Parliament and state assemblies,” said Gandhi, again accusing the opposition BJP of stalling the Women Reservation Bill in Parliament.

On the corruption issue, Gandhi said the UPA government wanted to deal with graft with an iron hand but the opposition had stalled six bills aimed at eradicating corruption, which were tabled in the House.

First Published: Mar 21, 2014 09:17 IST