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10-05-2014 (Press Release)

Varanasi/Chandoli, Uttar Pradesh
May 10, 2014

- Lakhs of people swarm Varanasi streets in support of Congress Vice President Mr. Rahul Gandhi's roadshow.

- Mr. Gandhi thanked the people of Varanasi for their love and affection.

- BJP leaders distort facts and speak with anger and hatred, he tells rally in Chandoli

- In Maharashtra, the BJP and its allies beat people from UP, and then they say they want to help you

- SP government delayed implementing Right to Food so that their electoral fortunes are safe

Lakhs of people from Varanasi swamped the streets of the ancient city, as Congress Vice President Mr. Rahul Gandhi held a massive roadshow in a constituency from where BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate is contesting.

The cavalcade that started at Golgadda Chowk in the morning crawled through the city's historic lanes at a snail pace, as joyous supporters threw flowers and chanted slogans in support.

Accompanied by Congress Party's candidate Mr. Ajay Rai, the Congress Vice President's cavalcade took more than four hours to reach Lanka Gate of the Benares Hindu University. There Mr. Gandhi paid tribute to the great freedom fighter, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya by garlanding his statue.

"I thank the people of Varanasi for the love and affection showered on me during the roadshow," he said at a rally in Chandoli later.

Accusing the BJP leaders of distorting facts and spreading lies, Mr. Gandhi said that they always speak the language of anger and hatred and have little respect for the people of India.

"You listen to my speeches. I never abused anyone. I always speak with respect. Listen to their speeches. They say improper and incorrect things, distort facts and speak with anger. They are full of hatred," he said.

Mr. Gandhi cautioned the people against the BJP, which he said not only played in the hands of a few industrialists, but was also making fake promises to the people of Uttar Pradesh.

"Who beats you up in Maharashtra? BJP and its ally, Shiv Sena. And then they say that they want to help you…The ideology of the BJP is to make people fight among each other, and ensure that only a few industrialists get the benefits of progress," he said, adding that the ideology of the Congress Party was to take everybody along.

He said that the opposition parties, be it the BJP, SP or BSP, represented only a section of the society and were interested in only their own progress.

"We gave you the right to food. It has been implemented across India, but not in UP. The Samajwadi Party government felt that this will harm their electoral fortunes and have postponed it. For them, the elections are more important than the people who are hungry," he said.

He reminded the youth that in the past 25 years no jobs had been created in UP and they had been forced to travel to faraway Congress-ruled states to find work.

"You are talented and willing to work, but they want you to be busy fighting each other," he said.

Mr. Gandhi said that the efforts of the Congress Party over the last decade helped pull 15 crore people out of poverty, and that the UPA had performed much better on infrastructure creation when compared to the NDA government. Building on the rights-based paradigm that the Congress Party has been working on for the last decade, he told the people that they will now be given the right to shelter, health and free medicine and pension. He also assured them that the Congress Party will push 70 crore people into the middle class in the next five years.

"It was UPA that gave a Rs. 70,000 crore loan waiver to farmers. We sent a Rs. 3,000 crore package for the weavers, but it never reached them. Before this, the Mayawati government snatched money from the farmers and took away their land for a Formula 1 car race track. They took thousands of acres of land with one signature from you. It was the UPA that ensured that farmers get four times market rate. We gave you rights, protection, linked you to banks, gave jobs and food. We believe in partnership between the industry and the poor," he said at the end of a long campaign.

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