Rahul Gandhi says Natarajan pitted against him after he spoke on Modi

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New Delhi, Feb 4: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday vowed to fight for the poor and tribals till his last breath and said former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan was pitted against him over the issue after he spoke about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Addressing a rally at Jahangirpuri in north Delhi, Gandhi made a slew of election promises including property rights to people in two years, ending contractual system of appointment within a week of the Congress party assuming office in Delhi and providing permanent jobs, reducing power tariff to Rs.1.50 per unit in six months and bringing down water tariff.

Rahul Gandhi with Sonia Gandhi

Gandhi attacked Modi several times during his nearly 25-minute speech.

He accused Modi of being pro-rich, wearing imported clothes and working for a few "business friends".

Without naming the Bharatiya Janata Party, Gandhi said efforts were being made to polarise voters before the elections for political gains.

Gandhi later held a roadshow in parts of Old Delhi during which he was enthusiastically greeted by Congress supporters.

In his speech, Gandhi said he had said something against Modi a few days back and the next day, Natarajan was "propped up" against him.

"I want to say I have fought the battle of the poor and tribals. I had told Jayanthi Natarajan that we should look into the welfare of the environment, poor and the tribals," Gandhi said.

The Congress vice president said he was not afraid.

"Till my last breath, I will fight for the poor. I am not here to do politics for the rich. I am not here for four-five industrialists. I am here to do politics for the poor. I will stand for them."

This was the first time Gandhi spoke about Natrajan's outburst that his office wrote her letters on issues concerning the environment.

Natarajan was virtually forced out of the Congress-led government and resigned from the party last week.

Gandhi targeted Modi over the 'Make in India' campaign and claimed that not a single youth had got employment.

"Crores of rupees were invested in marketing for 'Make in India'. He (Modi) wears suit worth Rs.10 lakh, media people say even that is not made in India, it is made in UK," Gandhi said.

During US President Barack Obama's visit, Modi wore a pinstriped suit that had his full name - Narendra Damodardas Modi - monogrammed in the fabric.

Gandhi also accused the prime minister of working for a few industrialists.

He said that international petroleum prices have come down by over $100 since the last UPA government, but people had not benefitted.

"You are not getting the benefit but somebody is getting it. I will tell you. Modi has four-five business friends. They are getting benefit that you should get. It is your loss and their benefit," he said.

Gandhi said the Congress gave rights to property to 55 lakh people and will give it to all people in Delhi in two years.

Accusing the BJP of working against the interests of farmers, he said the land acquisition bill was "the most difficult work" of UPA-II government.

"I can say it damaged UPA politically," Gandhi said, and added that forces that were hurt by the provisions of the bill ranged against the Congress.

He asked if people had benefited in the past eight months from "dreams sold" by Modi.

Apparently referring to the BJP, he said there were efforts to create communal polarisation.

"They do not hate Muslims. They want power. So they make people fight for political gains," Gandhi said.

Gandhi accused the AAP of failing to fulfill its promises to people and not regularising people on contractual employment during its 49-day rule in Delhi.

He said the AAP had not agitated against the Modi government for its acts of omission though anti-corruption activists had fiercely agitated against the UPA government.

"Are friends of Modi not being benefitted? Why is the AAP silent," he asked.

Gandhi was enthusiastically welcomed by Congress workers and supporters during his roadshow which meandered through parts of Old Delhi. Party workers showered petals on him and raised slogans hailing him and the Congress.

IANS

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