Addressing the ‘Parivartan Sankalp’ convention of the Congress’s ‘booth warriors’ at the Sabarmati Riverfront venue in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city on Monday, September 5, 2022, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi promised over the availability of cooking gas cylinders at INR 500 and free power up to 300 units.
“If Congress elected to power in Gujarat, gas cylinders would be given at INR 500 and there would be special electricity concessions of up to 300 units,” said the Congress leader.
Pictures From Parivartan Sankalp convention By Hanif Sindhi
He assured that the Congress party would work for the benefit of farmers, common masses, and would make education for women free in Gujarat along with the establishment of nearly 3000 English-medium schools and institutions across the state.
Gandhi also guaranteed over the provisions of providing free treatment up to INR 10 lakhs, debt-waiver scheme of INR 3 lakhs; COVID-compensation of INR 4 lakhs; unemployment allowance of INR 3000 per youth; scrapping of fixed-pay system in government services, and a subsidy of INR 5 per litre to the milk producers.
“People in Gujarat had to struggle to get their Covid compensation and farmers’ dues were not being considered for any “maafi” (debt relief) by the regime. If Sardar Patel would have been alive, he would not have tolerated this,” said Rahul Gandhi.
Hitting out at the ruling party BJP and highlighting Sardar Patel’s vision and ideology of farmers during his regime, he stated, “Patel was committed to farmers and common masses and would have objected to pending dues of rich corporates being forgiven and forgotten by the ruling BJP. The congressman’s vision has been smashed.”
In his address, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi resorted to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and invoked him at least half a dozen times to hit the BJP government over the installation of the tallest statue of the ‘iron man of India’.
In Indian history, October 31st, 2018 is marked as the inauguration of the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182-metres (600 feet approx.) – ‘the Statue of Unity’ against the backdrop of the dramatic Satpura and Vindhyachal hills in Kevadia town of Gujarat’s Narmada district.
“We are not fighting a political party here; we are fighting an ideology. It was sad to see three to four industrialists benefitting from the government and the masses, farmers and SMEs being completely ignored,” said Gandhi.
Commending the people of Gujarat for their enterprise and business during his speech for the Parivartan Sankalp convention, Rahul Gandhi said, “Nobody can beat them when it comes to business but all small and medium businessmen in Gujarat know that their enterprises have shrunk or are facing difficulty because the ruling BJP believes in only extending bounty to its selective coterie of industrialists.”
“This pro-corporate attitude of the ruling BJP is a bane,” he said. Further stated, “It was unfortunate that the media had been incapacitated in Gujarat to raise real issues. “I do not blame them (media),” Rahul said, pointing towards the media enclave at the Sabarmati Riverfront Venue.
He added further- “Even if they want to write, their owners don’t let them do so. The police, judiciary, and the media; we have to fight against a lot of systems.”
Gandhi stressed, “All institutions in Gujarat had been sabotaged by the BJP leaving them with no autonomy or power. Gujarat is the only state, where permission has to be sought to launch an agitation.”
He questioned the audience, “Whether Sardar Patel had sought permission from those in power then to fight the British?”
Recalling rampant drug usage and seizure in Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi asked, “Why most of the drug seizures in Gujarat happened at Mundra in Gujarat?”
Recently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested two key accused in the 3,000-kg heroin seizure case, this August. One of them smuggled drugs on the Indian side, sold the stuff to domestic traffickers and routed the proceeds to the kingpin in Afghanistan.
The Parivartan Sankalp Rally was held by Gujarat Congress primarily as a curtain-raiser to the forthcoming Assembly Elections scheduled to be held in December.
District and block presidents of Congress besides newly-inducted booth members and Congress workers of various frontal organisations participated in the rally.
Raising and motivating the strength of party workers to fight the 2022 elections with the same killer spirit Congress had showcased in the year 2017, he stressed, “If we fight with the same spirit, we will be able to form our government again.”
Indian National Congress performed satisfactorily during the assembly election in 2017. The party had won 77 seats against BJP’s score of 99 out of Gujarat’s 182 assembly seats.
Of late, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also pitched its role on Gujarat’s land in fighting against the big parties for the upcoming assembly elections due to be held this year.
Rajasthan’s CM Ashok Gehlot and the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Gujarat, Dr Raghu Sharma also spoke on the occasion along with State party president Jagdish Thakor, senior leaders Arjun Modhvadia, Bharat Solanki, Shailesh Parmar and others.
Meanwhile, the Independent MLA Jignesh Mewani criticised the ruling Gujarat BJP government for releasing 11 convicts involved in Bilkis Bano’s gang-rape case under a special remission scheme, much before they completed their life sentence.
He said, “The way the rapists were welcomed, garlanded and celebrated was an insult to all women in the country and reflected BJP’s idea of dignity and respect to women in the society.”
The biggest opposition party in India has been consistently attacking the ruling party BJP over price rise, unemployment, and many related issues.