Congress president Rahul Gandhi visited Kerala on Tuesday, to officially kick start UDF’s 2019 Lok Sabha poll campaign. Speaking to booth workers and Vice Presidents at a public rally in Kochi, he spoke about increasing the number of women in positions of power. The Congress president also promised that if the party comes to power in the country, the Women's Reservation Bill would be passed.
"We want to see women in positions on leadership. I know that the leaders of Kerala are extremely capable. But I want to add a few women to the stage," he said pointing to the stage dominated by male leaders.
Lashing out at PM Modi, who also visited the state less than a week ago, Rahul Gandhi said that the Congress would right the crimes committed by Narendra Modi against farmers the last few years. "We have decided, if Narendra Modi can give maximum income guarantee to 15 rich people, we will give minimum income guarantee to every single citizen."
The Congress President also referred to the Sabarimala controversy that has split the state. Stating that while the ruling CPI(M) and the BJP worked on dividing the people of Kerala, the real issue of jobs, protection of farmers was put on the back burner.
"Congress party respects women of Kerala and at the same time respects the traditions of Kerala. We do not agree with the violence carried out by BJP and CPI(M)," he said. He also said that this election, the Congress will repeat the victory they witnessed in MP, Chhatisgarh and Rajasthan at the centre.
“Only Congress can unite all the people. You can see what happened in the three states- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. We are going to do the same thing in Kerala. And the people of the country will help in doing this. Everybody says RSS, CPI(M) has cadre, but you have the heart of the country," he said.
Kerala, not just a state, an idea
Stating that Kerala was leading the people of India, Rahul Gandhi said that he wanted every booth worker to be proud of their party.
"Kerala is not just a state, it is an idea. It is a way of looking at the world that includes compassion, humility, respect. People of Kerala are helping guide the people of India. I want every single Congress worker to feel 'Ente booth, ente abhimaan, ente party' ("My booth, my pride, my party"). Congress party belongs to every single one of its members," he said.