Salem: Asserting that States “should not be ruled by direct orders from the Prime Minister's office (PMO)”, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that his party, working with the DMK will restore the rights of the States, ensure that the country's cultural pluralism was not undermined and leave the continuance of issues like National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical college aspirants, to the State governments.
“The suicide by the girl medical aspirant Anitha of Ariyalur district in Tamil Nadu in protest against the NEET finds a mention in the Congress party's manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and no other student should die over such an issue in Tamil Nadu or in other States,” Rahul said addressing a huge joint rally with DMK president M K Stalin here on Friday in support of the DMK-Congress led alliance candidates for Salem, Kallakurichi, Erode, Karur and Namakkal constituencies.
“Only the State governments should decide whether NEET is necessary or not and we have made this clear in our manifesto,” Rahul Gandhi said.
“We believe in consultations with the people to help solve their problems but neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor BJP do not believe in any such consultations with the people,” he said, and cited how Modi demonetizing high value currencies had overnight struck a destructive blow to the Indian economy. The demonetization decision was not discussed with anybody, but Modi regime extended favours to two industrial groups, he charged.
Taking a dig at Mr. Modi's 'Make-in-India” programme, Rahul said, “you take any product in the market today, it has the label 'Make in China'. The Congress party, if elected to power, will completely restructure and simplify the GST and “do away with the Gabbar Singh Tax”, he stressed. The 'Nyay' or minimum income guarantee programme to the poor will be a frontal attack on poverty, he added.
Explaining the rationale of the DMK-Congress-led alliance in Tamil Nadu, Rahul Gandhi said the BJP believed only “in one culture, one singular idea of Idea and one history”, while the reality was that India is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual society. “We want to protect and nurture this pluralistic society and hence Congress and DMK has joined together to create a strong and prosperous India that respects its pluralistic ethos,” he elaborated.
Rahul charged the BJP government and the Prime Minister with “running Tamil Nadu by the PMO, from Nagpur (RSS headquarters), stifling the voice and culture of Tamils; but we respect the distinct culture and ancient history of the Tamil society.” When Tamil Nadu farmers were on a prolonged fast at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the Prime Minister did not even bother to meet them, Rahul said. He also listed the key features of the Congress manifesto, including jobs creation and strengthening Panchayati Raj.
Speaking at the rally, the DMK president, M K Stalin, reiterating his optimism that the DMK-Congress alliance would sweep all the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, said present indications are that “my declaration that Rahul Gandhi will be the next Prime Minister gains strength by the day.”
Highlighting the important aspects of the DMK's poll manifesto, Mr Stalin said though Mr. Modi was now saying they would “fulfill” the aspirations of the people after being in government for five years, the overall mood among the people is to “send the Modi government packing home.”
He charged that Prime Minister Modi had done nothing beneficial for the poor people in the last five years.
Senior leaders of Congress and DMK, the TNCC president K S Azhagiri, the contesting candidates in the Lok Sabha and Assembly bye-elections from this region were among those who participated....