GUWAHATI, Feb 25 � Formally sounding the Congress� poll bugle for the 2014 general elections, party vice president Rahul Gandhi today launched a blistering attack on NDA�s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, and promised to bring about further reforms in the Grand Old Party.
Addressing a rally at the Veterinary College ground here this afternoon, Gandhi said the Congress regime has succeeded in bringing �peace and prosperity� to Assam during the past 13 years.
�How did we do it (bring peace and prosperity)? There was only one reason behind it. The Congress gave power to the people and unified all the communities,� said the Gandhi scion.
Targeting Modi, Gandhi said the BJP leader had claimed he will do more in 60 months than what the Congress has achieved during the past few decades. �He (Modi) has asked what has been achieved during the past 70 (sic) years. What happened in 70 years was achieved by the common people. Modi is making fun of the people by raising such points,� he said.
The Congress vice president added, �We want only one thing. We want to empower the people�The day we empower the people, all the leaders who come here and talk big will have to flee.�
Castigating the previous AGP regime in Assam and the NDA government at the Centre, Gandhi said, �The kind of loot they did in three months has not been done by us in the last 50 years.� The Congress vice president, however, remained silent on CWG, Coalgate, 2G and other scams which surfaced during the UPA regime.
He pointed out the law and order problem during the AGP regime and the then State government�s failure to generate employment and give salaries to employees during that time.
Highlighting the recent Congress decision to hold party primaries in some Lok Sabha seats, including Guwahati, to select candidates for polls, Gandhi said that during the next five years the effort would be to make it a national feature.
�We need to change Congress also and we will do it fast and in-depth,� he said.
Gandhi also spoke about the social security schemes implemented by the UPA government during the past decade and said they have helped the common people.
�Assam has shown the whole world that revolution is possible with love, just like Mahatma Gandhi had said,� he said, asking Congress workers to refrain from shouting slogans like �Narendra Modi murdabad�.
�Ours is a party of love. Let them (BJP) shout murdabad,� Gandhi said.
Blaming BJP for adopting divisive politics, Gandhi said BJP leaders talk of Hindutva but have not read the Bhagawad Gita which talk of peace and brotherhood.
�There is place for everybody in India. If there is a need to wipe out somebody it is those who have hatred in their hearts,� he said.
Continuing on his social reform agenda, the Congress leader expressed unhappiness about the thin presence of women in the rally.
�I want to see a day when women will get equal power and occupy 50 per cent of seats in Parliament and Assemblies � People say India should become a superpower. Without empowering women, we can only be a half-superpower,� he said.
At the fag-end of his speech, Gandhi brought up the issue of the self-immolation of KMSS member Pranab Boro. �I have asked Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to provide all help to the family of the deceased and to deal with the family with affection,� he said.
On Arunachal youngster Nido Tania�s death, he said. �We feel sad when such incidents happen. We need laws to deal with such cases. Wherever any person may hail from, they should never feel alienated,� he said.
Terming the people of the North East as hard-working, Gandhi said they have a very good reputation as sincere employees in places like Delhi and other big cities.