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Rahul bats for Dalit rights in Gujarat rally

The Congress leader criticised the government’s policies like the Agnipath Scheme and increased privatisation, which he said aimed at dismantling the reservation system…reports Asian Lite News

Insisting that the ongoing Lok Sabha election is a critical battle between two contrasting ideologies, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for posing a “direct threat” to India’s democracy and constitution.

“This is a fight between two thought processes. On one side, the BJP and RSS want to finish our constitution while on the other, we in the Congress and the INDIA bloc are safeguarding it,” said Gandhi while addressing a rally in Patan Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat.

He also criticised the government’s policies like the Agnipath Scheme and increased privatisation, which he said aimed at dismantling the reservation system.

“You will not find an Adivasi or a Dalit among the top anchors and editors in the country. Nor will you see unemployed youth or farmers on television, which instead showcases the opulent weddings of the wealthy and Bollywood actors,” said Gandhi.

Highlighting the current unemployment crisis, he emphasised that such issues are grossly underreported, with the voices of 90 per cent of Indians comprising farmers, labourers and small business owners rarely heard in the media.

The Congress leader also stressed the importance of a caste census for ensuring justice and proper representation for Dalits and Adivasis, questioning their absence from significant events like the Ram Mandir and Parliament inaugurations.

Patan seat was initially dominated by the Congress and later challenged by other parties like the Swatantra Party and Lok Dal.

A pivotal moment came in 1989 when the seat was reserved for the Scheduled Caste category, leading to a win for the Janata Dal. This marked a shift in the nature of political representation in Patan. The BJP won the seat in 1991 with Mahesh Kanodia setting the stage for ongoing contests between the BJP and Congress.

Congress drawing flak for poor planning

 As campaigning for the third phase of Lok Sabha elections gathers pace, a stark contrast has been observed by experts in the poll strategies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, especially when it comes to their star campaigners addressing rallies all over the country.

While the BJP, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in particular, has focused on holding election rallies in areas that go to voting next as per the seven-phase schedule, the Congress and its top leaders like Rahul Gandhi are drawing flak for being ‘careless’ with their planning.

PM Modi, having already done over 70 rallies and roadshows till now, on Sunday addressed four back-to-back rallies in Karnataka’s Belagavi, Uttara Kannada, Davanagere, and Ballari, which will go to the polls in the third phase on May 7.

On Monday, he was in Karnataka’s Bagalkote before addressing public meetings in Maharashtra’s Solapur, Satara, and Pune.

On the other hand, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressed the public in Daman and Diu and Odisha’s Kendrapara on Sunday.

On Monday, he was in Gujarat’s Patan and Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur for campaigning.

Analysts are somewhat baffled with the Congress’ choice of venues for holding Rahul Gandhi’s rallies as Kendrapara goes to the polls in the seventh and last phase on June 1. Not just that, Congress’ last win in the constituency came way back in 1952.

Calling it a case of poor planning, the experts reckon it as one of the many reasons why the party has failed to maximise gains in the ongoing elections.

Meanwhile, even while following a gruelling schedule, addressing one rally after the other from one corner of the country to another, PM Modi is thanking the BJP supporters for turning up in large numbers for his rallies across the nation.

“Incredible energy at the public meeting in Pune! Gratitude to everyone for joining the rally in huge numbers,” the Prime Minister said while addressing a rally in Pune on Monday.

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