Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday outlined Kerala’s ailing economy as the main poll plank of his party while campaigning in the southern state ahead of the assembly elections scheduled to be held early next month. “The central issue in the Kerala elections is economy and our ability to provide jobs to our youngsters,” Gandhi said while addressing a corner meeting in Puttady.
Gandhi said Kerala’s economy resembles a car without fuel and that chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan is looking for answers to the state’s problems in the wrong place. “The economy of Kerala is like a car without petrol. The chief minister is sitting in the front seat, he turns the key, nothing happens, sometimes he tries to press the accelerator, nothing happens. Then he pulls out his favourite book—Das Kapital written by Karl Max—and he looks for the answer but there’s no answer in the book,” he said.
Gandhi reiterated his promise of implementing the NYAY scheme in Kerala and putting ₹6000 every month in every impoverished person’s bank account. “We are not going to give this money to two or three businessmen like Modi does or to some organisations. We are going to give the money straight to the people of Kerala in their bank accounts,” said the Congress leader at the rally. “The fuel for the economy is money in your pocket. If you do not have money in your pocket the economy cannot start,” he added.
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He invoked his earlier promise of ensuring job creation in the state, stating that money disbursed through NYAY will ultimately create jobs.“If you cannot buy anything nothing will be made, if nothing is made there will be joblessness,”.
Gandhi credited the people of Kerala as the inspiration behind his poll promise. “These ideas come from you, they don’t come from Karl Marx, they don’t come from the RSS, you are our organisation,”.
He asked the people to enquire about the economic goals of other parties in the election fray. “I want you to ask the CPM, RSS, and the Left Front. How they are going to save the economic problems that Kerala faces. How are they going to ensure our youngsters get jobs,” Gandhi said at his rally, adding he has come with a “clear cut proposal you should ask them for theirs”.
He ended his speech by thanking people for showing up in this heat and requesting them to not vote for ideologies that spread hatred. “Do not support an ideology that divides this country, spreads hatred, spreads anger … Support an ideology that is affectionate, believes in brotherhood, believes in bringing people together,” said Gandhi as he concluded his rally.
Congress is fighting the upcoming Kerala assembly election 2021 in coalition with the United Democratic Front (UDF). Polling will be held on April 6 and votes will be counted on May 2.