Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday ridiculed the National Democratic Alliance's 'India Shining' campaign, stating that as long as 'there is one poor and one unemployed person in the country, India cannot shine'.
"If you trust the poor, the country goes ahead faster. The poor in the country have shown that India is not shining, contrary to the NDA's claim," Gandhi said at an election meeting in this Upper Assam town.
Underlining the need to promote the poor and the adivasi community along the development process, he exhorted voters to support Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi in ensuring the country's progress.
"Elections are here, support Manmohanji and Soniaji and make them victorious so that they can work for the poor, the adivasis for the country's development," he said.
Rahul claimed that during the last elections, the Congress had made a single promise to the people, that if the United Progressive Alliance came to power, it would be a government for the poor, common man, dalits and adivasis.
"In the last five years, the UPA fulfilled that promise. Rojgar programme was started and crores were given employment. A law was also made that if any Indian wants employment, the government should guarantee that," he pointed out.
Listing out the achievements of the UPA government, Gandhi said, "We started mid-day meal schemes, waived off Rs 7000 crore farmers' loan, launched several schemes for adivasis in Assam and alloted Rs 140 crore fund for flood control projects."
Continuing his tirade against the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress leader said, "It was during the NDA's rule that the Kandahar hijacking happened and they (NDA) returned the militants, who then came back and attacked our Parliament".
Gandhi, while addressing another election rally in Koliabor constituency, said, "Their (NDA) Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had stated he was not aware that his own minister Jaswant Singh had gone to Kandhahar to negotiate."
"If he did not know that, then what sort of a government was he running", Gandhi wondered.
Turning to the development issue of states, the Congress stalwart said, "I work in Uttar Pradesh and the Delhi government sends money there. Delhi has no shortage of money. The only problem is that at Centre there is the United Progressive Alliance government and in UP it is the Bahujan Samaj Party government."
"Whatever development programme we launch in UP, the government there does not want them to be successful...the money is sent from Delhi, but the money does not reach there (UP). The adivasis do not get the benefits", the Congress leader alleged.
"So if there is Congress in Delhi and here, you benefit. The Centre has sent to Assam Rs 11,000 crore for education, Rs 900 crore for farmers' welfare, besides funds for infrastructure development, health and roads," he said.