Coming down heavily on BJP for allegedly pursuing divisive politics, the Gandhi scion said, in sharp contrast, the Congress bats for development and prosperity.

Addressing his first rally for the Lok Sabha polls at Kasargod in Kerala, Rahul taunted BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

"I heard the other day one leader saying he wants to be the chowkidar (gatekeeper) of India. But I will say that the Congress party wants all people of India to be the nation's chowkidars. We believe in millions of Indians,” he said.   

Taking potshots at the NDA's ‘India Shining’ campaign, he said, for them the shining was only in the few, whereas the UPA wants all people to prosper and become partners in the onward march of the country.
    
"For any society to move forward, we need prosperity and justice. We are not for an India where the prosperity is limited for a few. If you look at the history of UPA in the last ten years you can see that a balance had been struck between prosperity and justice. The opposition is surprised how we have been successful in striking this balance," he said.
    
In the last 10 years, UPA had been able to bring 15 crore people above the poverty line and if voted back to power, another 70 crore would be lifted, he claimed.

The Congress vice-president also used the occasion to target the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He said that the Left won’t play any active role at the Centre after the 16th Lok Sabha polls and added that its victory would only indirectly help the BJP.
    
Apparently alluding to allegation of politics of violence indulged in by the CPI (M) in Kerala, Rahul said that there is no place for violence and intimidation in a democratic polity.     

Dwelling on a series of welfare initiatives like Right To Information (RTI) and Right to Food brought in by the United Progressive Alliance government in the last ten years, Rahul said that if voted to power, the party would make a few more legislations for making access to health and medicine the people's right.
    

Criticizing the CPI (M), Rahul said, "CPI (M) is not going to play a major role in the national politics (after Lok Sabha polls) and hopefully CPI (M) will not play a major role in Kasargod politics also."
    
Pointing out that there were many things from Kerala to be learnt by the country, he said, "The politics in Kerala, and the participation of Panchayat in the politics of Kerala is something the rest of the country should model."
     
He said that he had personally visited a Panchayat in Thrissur and was greatly impressed by its functioning.
    
There should be development in Kasargod, but it must help the people, he said, adding, there was great potential in Kasargod like good roads, sea access and land was available
for it to become a major industrial hub just like Bangalore in Karnataka.
     
Referring to endosulfan pesticide victims in Kasargod, Rahul said that his party is committed for their rehabilitation.
     
Lauding the Congress-led United Democratic Front Government in the state, Rahul said that the UDF had been doing an excellent job in bring development in the state and has brought several welfare projects for the people.
     
Presiding over the meeting, KPCC president VM Sudheeran said that the government will move ahead with rehabilitation programme for the endosulfan victims.
    
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy urged the people to teach the CPI (M) a lesson for their 'politics of violence' by defeating their nominees in the elections.

(JPN/Agencies)

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