Tue, 08 Oct 2013 19:15:00 GMT | By PTI

Rahul takes a dig at BJP on 'India Shining' campaign

Attacking the Opposition, he said that when the government spoke about the right to food, employment, education, "the Opposition said how these programmes would be funded, but we have shown them and we had done it"

Rahul takes a dig at BJP on 'India Shining' campaign (© Reuters)

New Delhi: Taking a dig at BJP, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the party will lose the coming Lok Sabha elections as they did in 2004 and 2009 after mounting the India Shining campaign when they were in power.

"They said 'India Shining' but they were surprised how they lost the elections if India was shining. They had lost in 2004 and in 2009. Now again, in 2014, they will lose.

"If you want to win the elections then go to poor people and hold their hands, understand their problems, then you can win," he said addressing the Balmiki Mahasammelan here.

He said Congress has ensured the right to food, work and education for poor.

"We had given right to employment, right to education, right to information. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Sheila Dikshit, Prime Minister and all felt that if we don't give rights to poor then they won't progress, as those who have money get their rights by spending it. So we talked about rights for poor," Gandhi said.

Terming Right to Information Act as a tool in the hands of common man to fight against corruption, he said, "Congress party has given RTI. But why have we given this? We have given this because every citizen has the right to question the government."

This has brought to the fore corruption which was taking place behind the closed doors, he said, adding "we have made your hands strong".

He said for many years lakhs of people were forced to sleep empty stomach but now the time has changed.

"There is no need for the slogan which was common during the days of Indira Gandhi, 'Aadhi roti khaayenge, Congress ko laayenge' (Will eat half full, but bring back Congress).

Now the slogan is 'Bhar pet khana khaayenge, Congress ko laayenge' (Will eat to the full and bring the Congress), he said.

Terming Balmiki community as a backbone of Congress who had been fighting the party's battle, Gandhi said, "there is need to bring the community forward, especially the youth in the party and they should also be given more representation in the state Assemblies and the Lok Sabha."

He said he wants to take the Congress to a level which it was during the days of Mahatma Gandhi, when there were around 40-50 prime ministerial candidates.

"We need such a leadership in Congress. For this we will have to give a helping hand to Balmiki and other backward communities. It may take some time but once it's done then Congress will win 360 seats (in Lok Sabha) and for that, we will have to work," Gandhi said.

We should also have to have 40-50 prime ministerial and chief ministerial candidates in the party and it would be done only when we bring to fore those are left behind, he added.

Saying that he was sorry for the tradition that is being carried on for ages. to the community, which is involved in manual scavenging, he said "we have brought Manual Scavenging Bill, but it's name is wrong. The Bill is about 'Right to Self Respect'.

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