RAICHUR: Congress leaders set the tone for the 2018 Assembly elections at a party convention held in Raichur on Saturday. Most of the leaders spent time listing out achievements of the Siddaramaiah government.
Though the programme was organised to felicitate AICC president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi for their contributions in amending Article 371 of the Constitution for Hyderabad-Karnataka region, it turned into an election campaign as many leaders took the opportunity to target the NDA government.
Rahul, who arrived at Raichur at 1.30 pm (late by good one-and-a-half hours), started his speech by quoting Mahatma Gandhi.
He said Gandhiji had advocated helping those who could not achieve on their own. The Congress party in general and the Karnataka government, in particular, are following the advice of Mahatma Gandhi by helping the people of the backward Hyderabad-Karnataka region as they were unable to compete with others on their own.
The Congress had put all its efforts when the UPA was in power to amend Article 371 of the Constitution to help people of this region to stand on their own, he added.
Now, the people of this region were reaping benefits as over 30,000 youths of this region got jobs because of the amendment, he said. He criticised the Modi government, saying the PM helped people like Ambani and Adani by “waving their loans” while refusing to do so for farmers.
Late for meeting
Rahul Gandhi arrived one-and-a-half hours late to the programme and delivered his speech in Hindi. Though many leaders said in their speech that Siddaramaiah would become chief minister again, Rahul Gandhi stayed away from making such a promise.
Slip of the tongue
Siddaramaiah, during his speech, asked people to bring pressure on Prime Minister Vajpayee to waive farmers loans. He immediately corrected his mistake and asked to bring pressure on Modi.