“440 volt ka badlav ka current hai”; Rahul energises MP Congress workers

Marking a ‘holy’ entry into the election battleground in Madhya Pradesh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the party will dethrone BJP with the shock of 440 volts and not 220 volts

“440 volt ka badlav ka current hai”; Rahul energises MP Congress workers

LS Herdenia

“Bhopal main Rahul ki Aandhi”. This was the headline in a leading newspaper in Bhopal, a day after Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s hectic and successful visit to the Madhya Pradesh state capital. Another leading newspaper published the report of Rahul’s visit with the title “Rahul leading, Congress put up united face”. Rahul Gandhi had joined the Congress Sankalp Yatra in the state through a mega road show in Bhopal on September 17, and formally launched the party’s campaign for the upcoming assembly elections .

By and large, the media admitted that people—and not just Congress party workers—came in large numbers on their own initiative to attend Rahul’s roadshow. The massive turn-out also gives a broad indication that people want change and they think that the Congress is the best bet to achieve this goal.

Marking a ‘holy’ entry into the election battleground in Madhya Pradesh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the party will dethrone BJP in the upcoming polls with the shock of 440 volts and not 220 volts. Before setting out on the roadshow in a bus from Lalgathi to BHEL Dussehra Maidan, 11 Hindu priests blessed Rahul with rituals in a puja ceremony. PCC president Kamal Nath, election campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia, former chief minister Digvijaya Singh and Leader of Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh assembly Ajay Singh accompanied Rahul on the roadshow. The Congress President took a brief pause during his 15 km road show to sip Bhopal’s famous tea and eat a samosa at Raju Tea Stall near Sadar Manzil.

Rahul’s roadshow lasted for more than four hours. During his speech, he attacked both the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh as well as the Central Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that PM Modi announces fakes promises and the same is repeated in MP by Chouhan. Rahul reiterated that Chief Minister Chouhan has made about 20,000 different promises but was still unable to provide employment to the people.

Later, addressing party functionaries and karyakartas at Bhopal’s BHEL Dussehra ground, Rahul said “440 volt ka badlav ka current hai, 220 volt ka nahi.” “Narendra Modi used to say I don’t want to become a Prime Minister but a chowkidaar (guard). However, this guard stole your money,” said Rahul, as he termed demonetisation the "biggest scam" of the Modi government. “When Congress comes to power in the country, it will waive farm loans and do away with ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ and bring in actual GST” he added.

Attacking PM Modi on the Rafale fighter jet deal, Rahul said “When I asked him a question on the contract, why it was awarded to Anil Ambani, he could not look in my eyes”.

Referring to the Vyapam and e-tendering scams in Madhya Pradesh, Rahul said “We will not let the Vyapam and e-tendering scammers run away like they allowed [Vijay] Mallya to”. He added “Youths want jobs so that they can contribute to the economic growth, but what they get are scams here”.

The Congress party, which has been out of power in Madhya Pradesh for last 15 years, has been conducting an energetic poll campaign over the last few months in the state, with the slogan of “Waqt hai badlav ka” (it’s time for change) on every banner and poster.

Given that the Lok Sabha elections will follow a few months after the assembly polls, the elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram hold a lot of significance for Congress.

The Congress’ enthusiasm is due to visible and growing dissatisfaction against the ruling BJP in the state. Farmers are agitating and contract workers are also angry with the government. The Chief Minister's Ashirvad Yatra is not getting a good response from the public. On the same day that Rahul received an enthusiastic reception in Bhopal, came reports that stones were pelted at Chouhan’s cavalcade at Mahidpur, a small town in Ujjain district. Police found it difficult to catch the culprits. In such a situation, the Congress is charged up, especially given that it has won several recent by-elections in MP.

Inputs by Raju Kumar/IPA

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