Rahul Gandhi slams opposition for 'stalling' Food Bill

Rahul Gandhi slams opposition for 'stalling' Food Bill
Thiruvananthapuram Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on the opposition parties for stalling the Food Security Bill in Parliament, and asserted the UPA government was determined to enact the legislation for the benefit of people.

"I am sad that the opposition is acting against the interests of the poor Indian...I can understand politics. But I cannot understand political parties hurting the poor of the country," Rahul told a party rally in Thiruvananthapuram.

"We have been working on the Bill for quite some time.

But the opposition does everything that they can do to stall the Bill. It does not matter what they do. The UPA and the Congress are going to give you (people) the right to food to ensure that no single Indian goes to sleep at night hungry," Rahul said at a well-attended rally at Central Stadium.

Spelling out the salient features of the UPA's economic policies, he said Congress, while pursuing liberalisation, believed in inclusive growth to ensure that every Indian was part of the progress.

"We believe in inclusive growth, liberalisation, opening up of business. But every single Indian should become part of the progress," he said.

The Congress Vice-President also took a dig at the Communists in the country for holding on to an ideology that had "failed" all over the world.

Even China had changed its old approach towards Communism, he said. "As you know, rest of the world has given up Communism. In fact, tomorrow the leader of China is coming to India. China itself has a different view of Communism from what they used to have," he said apparently targeting the CPI (M)-led LDF opposition in Kerala.

"I would ask the Communist party to ask themselves as how their ideology has failed all over the world and why they are holding to the ideology that has failed all over the world," he said.

Rahul said it was disturbing that the opposition in Kerala was "using violence" against the Congress workers.

"Everybody is allowed to have their view point. But what disturbs me is the systematic use of violence and aggression (by the opposition) against Congress workers," he said.

The rally was organised to mark the culmination of the month-long 'Kerala Yatra' led by KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala.

Rahul said a participant at a panchayat meeting which he attended last month in Kerala said that 'there is a distance between politicians and common man'.

"When we talk about 21th century, the challenge is to bridge the gap between the politicians and common man, to make them feel that they are involved in political decision making," he said.

At the organisation level, the process of involving youths in NSU and Youth Congress have taken place. "But I am of the view that steps should be taken to involve people in decision making much more effectively and aggressively," he said.

Referring to Kerala, the Congress leader said the state, already a tourist attraction, should become a global business destination.

Showering praise on non-resident Keralites working in Gulf countries, he said the state should produce large number jobs locally. For achieving this, Kerala should focus on improving infrastructure and higher education system.

Congratulating Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for the decision to grant autonomy to selected aided colleges, he said it was a right decision for the development of Kerala as a major higher education destination.

On the development schemes taken up by the Congress-led UDF government, Rahul said he was happy that work on Vizhijam Seaport Container Terminal, Kannur airport, SmartCity Kochi IT project and Metro-Mono Rail project were fast progressing.

Rahul termed Kerala's record in healthcare and primary education as "exceptional".

While people from the state played a vital role in building infrastructure in Dubai and other Gulf countries, nurses from Kerala were the driving forces in many of the hospitals in Gulf region, he said.

On the 'nitaqat' law relating to localisation of jobs in Saudi Arabia, the Congress leader said issues had been resolved after the visit of Union Minister Vayalar Ravi to that country.

On the Kerala Yatra undertaken by Chennithala, Rahul said it was important that the party listens to people's problems.

"Now the UDF government can take action to resolve the problems listed by the people during the Yatra," he added.

Union Ministers A K Antony, Vayalar Ravi, Shashi Tharoor and Mullappally Ramachandran were among those who attended the meeting.



Story First Published: May 19, 2013 01:00 IST

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