Congress – Truth can be spoken anywhere: Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said the truth can be spoken anywhere and not just in Parliament, from where he has been disqualified.

Addressing a road show at Bijapur in poll-bound Karnataka, Rahul told a large gathering that he would continue to speak the truth.

“They (the BJP) think that the truth can be spoken only in the Lok Sabha. But the truth can be spoken from anywhere, even here,” he said.

Rahul, visiting the state for two days to campaign for the polls, underscored how he was stopped from raising questions in the Lok Sabha — having his microphone switched off, his remarks expunged, and eventually his membership scrapped.

The Congress leader attended the celebrations of the birth anniversary of 12th-century reformer-saint Basaveshwara (Basavanna) at Kudala Sangama, Bagalkot district, before the road show in Bijapur.

Rahul sought to hit the right chord by packing his speech with references to the teachings of Basavanna, who had founded the Lingayat dharma as a reformist sect.

“Basavanna had said not to be scared and speak the truth whatever the consequence,” Rahul said to loud cheers.

He said that Basavanna’s teachings, which gave primacy to equality, love and brotherhood, were embedded in India’s parliamentary democratic system.

“His teachings stand for brotherhood in society and… respect (for) everyone. His idea was that every individual is important,” Rahul said. “Our (poll) promises are in tandem with the teachings of Basavanna.”

He added: “Every individual has the right to dream big. If a farmer wants his son to fly an aircraft or run a business, or a labourer wants his son to become an engineer, they too should get the opportunity to do so. Basavanna also said that women should be protected.”

The Congress has promised 200 free units of power to each household every month under the Gruha Jyothi scheme, 10kg of free rice each month to every member of poor families under the Anna Bhagya scheme, Rs 2,000 each month to every woman head of a household under the Gruha Lakshmi scheme, and the Yuva Nidhi scheme that offers Rs 3,000 to graduates and Rs 1,500 to diploma holders every month for two years or until they find employment.

On Monday, Rahul is scheduled to meet sugarcane farmers at Ramdurg in Belgaum and youths in Gadag, and address a public meeting in Hangal in the evening before returning to Delhi.


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