ALL INDIA CONGRESS COMMITTEE
24, AKBAR ROAD, NEW DELHI
Highlights of the CP speech 22 February 2019
Congress President Shri Rahul Gandhi addressed a public meeting in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.
Shri Rahul Gandhi said - Oommen Chandy Ji, Raghuvir Reddy Ji, Kiran Kumar Reddy Ji, KVP Ramachandra Rao Ji, Chinta Mohan Ji, Subbarami Reddy Ji, Pallam Raju Ji, P. Lakshmi Ji, Bapiraju Ji, J.D. Seelam Ji, Changa Reddy Ji, Party workers, NSUI, Youth Congress, Sewa Dal, Mahila Congress members, brothers and sisters, friends from the Press, I would like to welcome all of you here this evening.
I want to begin my speech by telling you that the most important thing in leadership, in politics is a person’s word. If what one says does not have meaning, if what one says does not have weight, then it is of no use saying it. If one does not have commitment to what one says, it is worthless. The people of Andhra Pradesh were committed ‘Special Category Status’ and they were not committed special status by just any person; it was not some random person who said Andhra Pradesh should get special category status, in fact, it was not even a person that committed Andhra Pradesh special status, it was the Prime Minister of India. The Prime Minister is not just a person, he is not just a human being, and he is the voice of over a billion people! So, what I am telling you is that the commitment to Andhra Pradesh was made not only by the Prime Minister of India but by every single Indian.
When the Prime Minister speaks, India speaks and the Prime Minister of India had promised Andhra Pradesh special status, not Dr. Manmohan Singh, not Shri Narendra Modi, but the Prime Minister of India. So, I want to make it very clear to every single person in Andhra Pradesh and every single person in the rest of the country- When the Congress Party comes to power in Delhi, no force in this world will stop the Congress Party from giving special status to Andhra Pradesh. And remember this, when the Congress Party will fulfill the Indian Prime Minister’s commitment to the state, it will not be only the Congress Party that will fulfill it, it will be every single citizen of this country that is giving to Andhra Pradesh what belongs to the state of Andhra Pradesh.
It does not matter to me whether there is a Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh or there is no Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh, if the Congress Party and the Prime Minister of India has made a commitment to the people of Andhra Pradesh that commitment will be fulfilled no matter what. Mr. Narendra Modi goes to meetings and I believe he came here five years ago and he gave a speech saying that he is going to give Andhra Pradesh special status for 10 years. In that same speech, he probably told the people of Andhra Pradesh that he would put Rs. 15 lakh in every single bank account. He also told the people of Andhra Pradesh that two crore Indian youngsters would be given a job every year. He said that farmers would get the right price for their produce. ‘Make-in-India’, ‘Clean India’, ‘Start up India’, ‘Sit down India’, ‘Look left India’, every single programme he could think of, he gave you. Every single one of his statements is a lie.
Mr. Narendra Modi said to you that he wants to fight corruption. Make me the ‘Chowkidar’, not the ‘Prime Minister’! There used to be a slogan in his speeches during the last election. I will say in Hindi, it is a Hindi slogan and Mr. Narendra Modi used to say ‘Achhe Din - Aayenge’. And now after the Rafale scam, and after Mr. Narendra Modi gave Rs. 30,000 crore to Mr. Anil Ambani, after Mr. Narendra Modi pushed aside Public Sector Company – Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. After the President of France has said that the Prime Minister of India gave Mr. Anil Ambani the contract, there is a new slogan, See, listen, Chowkidar, (people from rally shouted - Chor Hai) ! Chowkidar (people from rally again shouted- Chor Hai)!! The whole country knows this slogan, if you are in a market, in a village, in a city somewhere, just say ‘Chowkidar’ and the response comes, ‘Chor Hai’! On one side, you have broken promises and on the other side, there is the truth.
We said to you, we will give you MGNREGA, we gave you MGNREGA. We said to you, we will protect your land and we gave you the Land Acquisition Bill - a revolutionary law which mandates that land cannot be taken from an Indian farmer without asking him. A law that guarantees four times the market rate to any farmer whose land is taken away from him and a law says no matter how big, how powerful the person, the corporate to whom the land is given, if that land is not used within five years, the land is returned to the farmer. We said we would defend the farmer and we gave you Rs. 70,000 crores in loan waiver. And I remember when we were doing that, every single BJP Member in Parliament said where the money is going to come from. And we showed you exactly where the money comes from!
Mr. Modi can forgive 3-1/2 Lakh crore and give a loan waiver to the most powerful businessmen in the country but he cannot forgive the loan of poor farmers. Recently, we had some elections in the North of India and in every speech in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, I told the farmers of those States that within 10 days of coming to power, we will waive off the loans of the farmers. And I am proud to tell you, it did not take the Congress Party 10 days, it took us two days to waive off the loans of the farmers of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. So, be confident and remember if the Congress Party is making a commitment that commitment is going to happen regardless of anything else.
Today in India, there are some people who call themselves nationalists, when 40 of our CRPF Jawans are martyred, when their blood is still flowing, the Prime Minister of India, who calls himself a nationalist, is sitting in a National Park getting a movie made of himself. For 3-1/2 hours after our youngsters were killed, the Prime Minister posed in front of cameras, smiled for the cameras, laughed for the cameras and made a movie about himself. He did not feel the pain, the suffering of the families of our youngsters who sacrificed themselves. Making a movie, smiling, laughing was more important to him than helping the families of those people who died. You can see pictures of the Prime Minister smiling, you can see him on a boat, and you can see him standing in front of a river smiling and pictures and videos being made of the Prime Minister - 3-1/2 hours, my friends - 3-1/2 hours - he made a movie about himself. These are the type of people who call themselves nationalist! They don’t have enough feeling to go and touch the family members of the people who have died. They don’t have enough feeling, enough respect that 40 of our boys have died and maybe I should stop doing this and maybe I should try and help them. The Prime Minister of India should be ashamed of his behavior after our boys were martyred.
He should be ashamed of not giving the people of Andhra Pradesh what they deserved, what is theirs by right and this is our commitment to you. I would like to conclude by saying that you do not have to worry; you do not have to worry about ‘Special Status for Andhra Pradesh’. Today, I went to the most holy place in the State. It was an honour for me to go there. It was an honour for me to be given the love and affection that the people gave me. It is my commitment to you, it is the commitment of the Congress Party to you, and it is the commitment of the Government of India to you that you will be given Special Status.
I would like to thank all of you for coming here to this meeting. Thank You always for the love and affection that you show me.