Delhi Chief Minster Sheila Dikshit had to urge a section of the crowd to stay back and listen to Gandhi. Some people got restless as they had been waiting for the Congress leader at the DDA ground since 10.30 am. Gandhi came around 1 pm and spoke a little later. (JPN/Agencies)
In the crowd were also elderly women who had waited hours for Gandhi to arrive at the rally. "I ask all those dear sisters who are leaving to wait for 10 minutes and listen to Rahul Gandhi. I know you are feeling hungry, but wait for a while," Dikshit said, looking at a group of women who started to leave the Virat Cinema Ground in south Delhi's Ambedkar Nagar.
"Thank you," said Dikshit, when the women heeded her and decided to stay on. The Congress vice-president was to address the party campaign event at 11 am, but arrived well after 1 pm.
Around 5,000 people had gathered to hear Gandhi, largely from the nearby resettlement colonies considered a vote bank area of the Congress. This was Gandhi's second election rally in Delhi, the first being in Mangolpuri recently in the run up to the December four assembly elections.
Addressing the rally, Congress vice-president launched a scathing attack on BJP and its ally Shiv Sena for targeting migrants in Maharashtra and Karnataka, Rahul Gandhi on Sunday warned that this has fanned tension, while Congress has taken everyone along irrespective of caste, religion or the region they come from.
"In Karnataka, Maharashtra they create tension. People from Uttar Pradesh go to Maharashtra and people from Shiv Sena make them run away. But here (in Delhi and Congress-ruled states) we have love and brotherhood. We want to take everyone along," the Congress vice-president said.
He also claimed that as compared to NDA, the UPA has created more infrastructures in the country, besides empowering the people, including women.
"We see all as equal. In Delhi, all are one for us. They could be Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christian, belong to any caste or region," he said.
"It does not matter whether the Congress comes to power, or the BJP. Our plight will remain the same," said Omwati, a 60-year-old who had come to the Virat Cinema Ground venue in south Delhi's Ambedkar Nagar.
As she and others started venting their ire over the price rise, a woman Congress worker appeared on the scene and shushed them up. She told them to shout loudly "Rahul Gandhi zindabad".
Gandhi spoke for over six minutes, recounting the developments in the city during the Congress rule. He praised Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, saying she had changed the face of Delhi and asked the people to vote for the Congress party.
Delhi Chief Minster Sheila Dikshit had to urge a section of the crowd to stay back and listen to Gandhi. Some people got restless as they had been waiting for the Congress leader at the DDA ground since 10.30 am. Gandhi came around 1 pm and spoke a little later.