You are here: HomeSpeech TextEnglishCongress Vice President Rahul Gandhi at Chandauli (Uttar Pradesh), 10th May 2014

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi at Chandauli (Uttar Pradesh), 10th May 2014

Text of speech by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi at a public rally at Chandauli , Uttar Pradesh

I could just learn that Saranath – the land of Great Buddha is just 2 km away from here. Not only Buddha, you also gave us great saints like Kabit, Raidas, Tulsi Das and legendary personalities like Lal Bahadur Shastri, Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya, Pt Kamla Pathi Tripathi, Ustand Bismillah Khan, Pat. Ravi Shankar.

The most important contribution of this land is that you gave us an ideology – that of Lord Buddha. He had taught us to treat everyone equally and take all along. He had understood this ideology 3000 years back; he had travelled across India spreading the message of unity and peace. He taught us that every individual must have a space in our country. This has been the ideology of Congress too.

60 years before, India was a poor country. We were under British rule. No person was rich; people were either farmers or labourers. These people fought with the British and several of them gave away their lives for the nation and finally British had to leave India. Leaders like Gandhi ji, Nehru Ji, Patel ji and Azad Ji led the battle but the power was with the people.

Due to people’s efforts, India developed over the past 60 years. You can experience it when we go to big cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.  We also could earn wealth along with progress.  Now the question comes; what to do with this wealth. Here is the basic difference between the Congress and the opposition.

Congress believes that the benefits of development must reach people. Opposition wants entire wealth must go to 2-3 industrialists.

Earlier there was a government led by Ms. Mayawati here. That govt grabbed poor farmers’ lands in places Bhatta-Parsaul and gave it to big corporate for building racing (Formula-1) track. The farmers could not proper compensation for the lands acquired. But if the lands of rich people are acquired, they get adequate price for it. We fought for the poor and revised the 100 year old land acquisition Act. Now no one can forcibly snatch away lands from you. If the lands are acquired, you will get adequate compensation – 4 times more than the market price- too. This new Act will not only benefit the farmers but also the people who work in those lands.

We also gave financial assistance worth Rs 70000 cr for the poor farmers in the form of loan-waiving; opened doors of the banks for them. In Gujarat Modi government gives loan to industrialists loan at 0.1% interest, But farmers can avail loan only at 12% interest.

When we had formed the UPA government in 2004, the first thing we implemented was Mahatma Gandhi NREGA – to guarantee jobs for the rural poor. Every year we allocate Rs 30000 cr for this. It not only made the rural poor self reliant, gave them dignity but also resulted in increase in daily wages. MNREGA guaranteed a minimum of 100 days jobs for entire rural poor. The food security act guarantees that every poor gets food grains at subsidized rates – at Re 1 per kg. This new land mark scheme ensures that no one in our country starves.

The food bill is not yet implemented in Uttar Pradesh by the state government. They are afraid that if the same is implemented now, benefits will go for the Congress. Hence they have decided to implement it only after the polls. How pathetic their vision is. They are not bothered about the poor people who are still starving. They just postpone its implementations just for their political interests.

I am not saying that we must not help industrialists. We must support them. But what Congress wants to ensure that the benefits of development also reach common people and so we need to build a partnership between the poor and the business class. We do not want that people work hard and bring in development, and the entire wealth generated go to the pockets of a selected group.

Before finalising our election manifesto we had come to the people to seek their opinions. They wanted to have three more rights.  I get lot of complaints from various sections of the people that they are not able to get adequate medical or healthcare facilities due to financial difficulties. Many such people find it very tough to treat their children for various chronic diseases. The rich are able to avail all proper medical facilities but the poor are not struggling for it. The doors of hospitals are closed for the poor. We want to remove this big load from the back of the people. We, therefore, will ensure a right in health care to all the poor, so that they will be legally entitled to avail medicine and treatment free of cost. There are still many people who are forced to live under temporary sheds. The present Indira Awaas Yojana is not sufficient to address the issue of all homeless people. We, therefore, want to give a permanent roof to all such people in the future. We want to give the poor a right to shelter. We also will ensure that all elderly poor persons get a minimum amount as pension. We respect elders and we value their contributions for country’s development.

We want to build a strong foundation based on rights under the feet of every poor.  We want them too to have big dreams. We want to reform their lives.

I see a lot of youngsters here. For the past 25 years, the youth in UP are not able to secure jobs and they are forced to migrate to Congress ruled states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and North-East. But the Shiv Sena cadres beat up you in Maharashtra. But the people from UP are not able to get a job in their own state. The reason behind this is that you do not have a Congress government here. Further, the present state government is not a government for the people. They are having just selfish interest. They make people fight like we saw in Muzaffarnagar recently.

We will not let this to continue. We have already started working to generate jobs. Even US President admits that he is afraid of only two countries – India and China. The reason he says that the youth in these countries have great potential and are hardworking.

If you look at the watches, T-shirts etc you can see a ‘Made in China’ label in it as those items are made in China. When we purchase those items, the money goes to China. I want to see ‘Made in Chandauli’, ‘made in Banaras’ or ‘Made in UP’ or ‘Made in India’ labels in those items soon. How we are going to accomplish it, I will tell you. For development, our youth must get job. That is why we have launched a new industrial corridor project - – Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Kolkata. It will generate more jobs for our youth. We will have all modern infrastructures and dedicated railway lines in that corridor. Thousands of industries that are going to come up in these corridors will be the backbone of India. We will connect this region too with that project. Crore of youths will be able to secure jobs once this is completed. I want people from entire globe wear items which will have ‘Made in UP’ or ‘made in India’ labels.

US President realises people’s power. Congress believes in people’s power but the successive governments in UP in the past 25 years do not realise it. We had sent financial assistance of Rs. 3000 cr to the struggling Bunkars in the state but those did not reach the beneficiaries. This state cannot go forward with such policies. We must act together; stand united, if we want development here.

We could lift 15 cr people out of poverty over the past 10 years. Due to our pro-poor right-based paradigm, a new class of people has been emerged in the past ten years, which is above BPL but below the middle class. These are the bunkars, street vendors, carpenters, security guards, truck drivers, plumbers- those people who run this country.  There are 70 cr people who fall in this category. Our entire focus is to take this 70 cr people to the middle class in the next 5 years.  It is not possible without boosting the manufacturing sector.  We will reform education sector, want them to learn English, open more colleges and universities for them and will provide scholarships for their children. We want them to dream big and make a good career.

The opposition parties do not such a vision. They want farmers to remain as farmers, workers to remain as workers. But Congress wants to bring in reforms in their lives. We want them to dream big and achieve big.

There are big talks about Modi’s Gujarat development. But let us just examine some of the facts of this much-hyped model. About 45000 acres of land in Gujarat were given to one businessman at Rs. 1 per mtr. These lands were belonging to poor farmers and they are now forced to work under MNREGA. They get food under Centre’s food security scheme. The entire budget for education and health of the Gujarat govt is just a mere Rs. 8000 cr but it gave Rs. 40000 cr to just one industrialist Adani. This is the ‘Gujarat model’ of BJP.

Indian Air Force had asked for lands in Gujarat from the Modi government but we had to wage a long battle for 7 years to get the approval from state government. Finally, it agreed to give land but at higher cost. But Modi government was ready give away land to Adani at Rs 1 per mtr! Adani did not anything in the land to help the poor. He, within a short span of time, sold those lands at Rs 8000 per mtr and earned huge profit.

This shows one thing – your money can either go at the pro-poor schemes like MNREGA, Food scheme or can reach one businessman. This is the difference between the Congress’ and BJP’s ideology.

We want people to have big dreams but BJP wants only Adani to dream big. We want to empower you but BJP suppresses your strength. BJP takes your money and hands it over to 2-3 industrialists.

We will never let BJP to go ahead with such ideas. We want to establish a partnership between the poor and the business class. Every person must have a role in development. That is why we initiated a right-based approach in governance. UPA built 3 times more roads in 5 years than NDA. We generated two times more electricity. India witnessed more economic growth than NDA.

We talk about love and brotherhood. Just listen to the speeches of Congress leaders. We never abuse anyone. But just listen to the speeches BJP leaders. It is full of hatred and anger. They spread rumours and level baseless allegations. They shower abuses on others.  India can develop only if we work with love. India belong to all Indians and it will ever remain so. That is what Lord Buddha taught us.

You have a young candidate here. He is a grass root leader and has a heart to fight for you. By this time, he has travelled almost entire villages here and his victory is a must for your welfare and development.

I am very happy to see women in large numbers here. The women reservation bill is still pending and the first thing we would do after winning in 2014 would be to get that bill passed.  2000 dedicated mahila police stations will be opened. We also will ensure that 25% police force is women.

Nowadays we see BJP posters along with Modi’s picture on women empowerment saying that ‘I will give strength to women’.  He keeps on saying ‘I’, ‘I’ and ‘I’. He says that India achieved nothing in the past 60 years. Were Indians sleeping? Modi and BJP do not believe in people’s power. In fact, they do not know India and its people.

 I just want to remind Modi ji that our women do not need any power. What they need is respect. If Modi is really serious about this, please change his poster as ‘I will respect women’. Modi ji who talks about women empowerment must please stop sending Gujarat police after a woman and tap her phones.

We realise people’s strength.  We respect you and come to you with bowed heads. We know that it is the people who develop a country. BJP and its leders spread hatred and anger. But we love people and unite them.

I am thankful for your warm reception. Varanasi extended great love and affection to me today.

Thank you.

Jai Hind.