Bangalore: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Monday sought partnership with all sections of people to build a new and strong India where everyone has right to live equally with dignity and respect.
“We want partnership with all, including industrialists, businessmen, workers, farmers, women and youth to build a new and strong India. We are willing to help everyone get education, jobs, healthcare, housing and equal rights,” he said a huge public rally here.
Lauding the IT sector for making Bangalore famous the world over and creating thousands of jobs with hard work and innovation, Gandhi said it was the sweat and toil of the people in the industry that made even America, Britain, Europe and Africa acknowledge its prowess.
“With technology, you have changed the perception of India in the eyes of the world. Even developed countries like the US, Britain and Germany endorse your success and admit that Indians were no less than anyone in technology,” Gandhi told about 40,000 people who assembled at a college ground in the city’s southern suburb, home to about 600 global IT firms, including Infosys, Wipro and MNCs.
In this context, he recalled the contribution of former chief minister S.M. Krishna, who was present on dais, in putting Bangalore on the global IT map by facilitating the growth and expansion of the IT industry across the state.
Asserting that the ruling party was for equitable growth and development of all sectors, especially agriculture, manufacturing and services, Gandhi said the party was ready to partner with anyone who wants to invest, create jobs, build schools, colleges, factories, houses, hospitals and infrastructure.
“We (Congress and UPA) believe in social justice and swear by that India cannot become a super power unless its 700 million people are lifted above poverty and empowered to live a dignified life without discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and religion,” he said.
Taking potshots at the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, which was in power in Karnataka for five years (2008-13), Gandhi lamented that its government squandered the people’s mandate and turned a garden city like Bangalore into a garbage city.
“BJP netas (leaders) talk about India shining, Gujarat model of development and making the country a super power, but look the other way when they come to Karnataka where its government ruined the state, looted its mineral wealth (iron ore) worth Rs.100,000 crore and broke a world record in corruption that resulted in its former chief minister and a few cabinet ministers being jailed,” he said.
Appealing to the cosmopolitan city’s electorate to vote for the party in the April 17 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi said Bangaloreans sould elect candidates like technocrat Nandan Nilekani and youth leader Rizwan Arshad to parliament so that they could benefit from their yeoman service to the city, state and country.
Infosys co-founder Nilekani is contesting from the high-profile Bangalore South constituency, Arshad from Bangalore Central and C. Narayanaswamy from Bangalore North.
Earlier in the day, Gandhi addressed public rallies at Sirsi in coastal Uttara Kannada district and Raichur in northern region of the state for the party’s candidates.