PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist
PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress president Rahul Gandhi drew enthusiastic response from the crowd in meetings that he addressed as part of his second round of campaigning in Kerala. The crowd, which had a more than fair share of women participants, cheered him as he took on the Narendra Modi government.

The first day of his two-day programme saw him addressing several meetings in the southern part of the state, where the Congress and the United Democratic Front candidatesUnited Democratic Front candidates are already said to be in a strong position.

Rahul’s rallies have apparently further boosted their prospects. The Congress president launched a frontal attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he had failed to do anything that he had promised during his election campaign in 2014.

He was working for the welfare of the big corporates and friends. In a sign that he was unruffled by the Supreme Court notice for saying that the court had confirmed Modi was a thief, he said Modi had gratified Anil Ambani to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore at the expense of the people.

The deal to manufacture such an important fighter plane has been entrusted to someone who has not made even one aircraft, he said. The Congress president said the BJP could not tolerate any opinion other than their own. “India should be ruled by people of the country and not just one ideology or person.” Rahul said. “They want to suppress all voices other than their own.

They believe that only one idea should rule India while we believe that the people should rule India,” he pointed out. Rahul Gandhi said he decided to contest from Wayanad as a mark of respect for Kerala’s history of tolerance and inclusiveness. This is a message to the whole country, he added.

The Congress president listed the salient features of the party’s manifesto and declared that the money under the NYAY scheme would be remitted to the accounts of women because they are better managers of money and had a long-term view. Dealing with the issue of farm distress, he said that if voted to power his government would introduce a budget for the farmers so that all their concerns can be addressed effectively.

Also, they will be able to know in advance what is coming so that there won’t be any uncertainties as they are facing today. Rahul attacked the prime minister for entering into a deal with Malaysia on rubber, without consulting the rubber traders of Kerala.

The farmers budget would take care of the problems of rubber cultivators as well as cashew growers, he said. While speaking in Pathanamthitta, the epicentre of the Sabarimala protest, the Congress president said his party stands to protect faiths and rituals, but without directly mentioning the Sabarimala issue.

Rahul’s stand on the issue is seen as part of the strategy to handle the undercurrents in the constituency that may help BJP to put up a brave fight. The Congress president will be in Wayanad on Wednesday, where he is scheduled to address rallies at a number of places covering north Kerala and Malabar.

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