Rahul’s Message: Congress to Take Up Economic Issues

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi with party leaders Manmohan Singh and Priyanka Gandhi during a party rally in Gandhinagar, on Tuesday. — IANS

NEW DELHI (IANS) — The Congress will fight the Lok Sabha elections on economic issues such as minimum income guarantee scheme, farm loan waiver, jobs and the “flawed” implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), party president Rahul Gandhi indicated on Tuesday while setting the tone for the party’s campaign for the general election.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was appointed Congress General Secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, made her eagerly awaited debut speech in Gandhinagar after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Tuesday and showed that she can be a big crowd puller for the party in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

She referred to the Lok Sabha polls as “another independence struggle” and told the people not to forget the “real issues” confronting them as the BJP-led government sought to build its election narrative on nationalism, the strikes on terror camps in Pakistan and the achievements of the Narendra Modi government.

Priyanka said she had come to Gujarat and to the Sabarmati Ashram for the first time and sought to touch an emotional chord with the audience as she narrated how the visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram had reminded her of the freedom fighters.

She did not name Prime Minister Narendra Modi but made sharp attacks at his government.

In contrast, Rahul Gandhi was far more direct during his speech in Gandhinagar on Tuesday, as he again referred to Modi as “chor” (thief) and accused him of corruption.

Gandhi talked of the unfulfilled promises of the BJP and accused Modi of being a friend of the rich who was not concerned about the farmers and the common man.

Gandhi also stated what his party will do if it came to power. In a state known for its trading and business culture, he made a major announcement that if voted to power, the Congress will reform the GST regime and bring about a “single GST rate” instead of the present five.

Gandhi also told the audience how Congress had implemented farm loan waiver quickly in the states where it was in power. He also accused Modi of failing to fulfill his promise on jobs.

Gandhi also indicated that the Congress will take on the BJP-led government on issues of national security and stated how the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had released Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar — the man behind the Pulwama suicide bombing that killed 40 CRPF troopers.

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