Addressing an election rally at Solan, where large-scale land sales to outsiders has been reported, Rahul urged people to vote for change and assured that a Congress government will protect the interests of poor farmers. “Land belonging to poor have been sold to the rich. They have been deprived of proper price for their land. There is a land acquisition Bill pending in Parliament. The Opposition is not letting it to be passed as it proposes a series of measures to save poor farmers from exploitation and protect their rights,” he said.
Rahul also accused the BJP of blocking FDI, which, he said, is a grave injustice to cash crop farmers. A major portion of their produce is wasted as they don’t get good price in the market; if FDI is allowed, farmers will benefit, he added.
“The Opposition believes in only scuttling new initiatives, because the BJP is scared that the Congress will sweep the polls in 2014 as it did in 2004 and 2009,” he said.
On his first day of campaign, Rahul did not detail out the party’s agenda for development, instead he accused the BJP of playing divisive politics, not allowing the state to progress, and of corruption.
“The Congress believes in taking the country forward with the support of the aam admi. We respect the sentiments of the poor .The Opposition doesn’t support any good initiative. It only makes noise on corruption, but the Congress has shown resolve to deal with corruption. Our ministers have gone to jails,” he said.
He also referred to the RTI, MNREGA and the proposed Food Security Bill. “If voted to power, the Congress will take the state forward on the path of development, create jobs, build roads, and benefit the aam admi.”
Earlier, state Congress chief Virbhadra Singh attacked the BJP for “resorting to a malicious campaign” by levelling corruption against him. “I am not afraid of such vilification campaign and personalised attacks. This has strengthened my resolve to accomplish the task that my leadership has given me — to bring the Congress back to power,” he said.