Jaipur: The newly-appointed Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday made an emotional pitch to the Congress in Jaipur and proclaimed his love for the people of the country and his party. While addressing the party members at the end of the two-day Chintan Shivir, Rahul thanked the party members for appointing him as the party's vice president and said, "I will fight for Congress and people of India with whatever I have."
Rahul also cited his grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination and said that India needs hope of a systemic change to move the country ahead. Praising the current government, Rahul said, "All the development in India has been possible because of Congress and the governments led by it."
Calling his elevation in the party "a huge honour", Rahul said that the Congress works for every single citizen of this country and praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA's flagship schemes like Food bill, NREGA, Direct Transfer Benefit Scheme. "Food bill will ensure that no child in the country will go to sleep hungry," said Rahul.
"Last night, everyone congratulated me. But my mother came to my room and she sat and cried. Because she understands that the power that so many see is poison. She can see it because she is not attached to it (power)," revealed Rahul at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) session on Sunday.
Rahul added that there are many challenges ahead. "Voices of a billion say they want a bigger say in politics. People are angry because they feel alienated by the political class. We want aam adami to participate in the politics of the country," said Rahul.
Addressing the concern of women in the country, Rahul said, "The voice of women is being trampled upon by people with arbitrary powers in their life. It does not matter how much wisdom you have, if you have no position, then you are nothing. This is the tragedy of India."
In his first address after being appointed vice president of Congress, Rahul spoke of the anger of the youth saying they feel alienated from the political class and demanded a complete transformation of the system to give them a role in the political space. Addressing the AICC session, he made an emotional speech in which he said "I invite all of you to stand up and take on this fight," he said to a thunderous applause and a standing ovation from nearly thousand delegates at the AICC, that included his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Mamnohan Singh, union ministers and top party leaders.
After the speech, Rahul hugged his mother and later the Prime Minister, while other senior leaders greeted him with some of them giving him a warm embrace. Echoing the concerns expressed by his mother to the conclave on Friday in which she underscored the need to respond to the "more aspirational and more impatient" youth and urban middle classes, Rahul posed a question, "Why are the youth angry. They are angry because they are alienated from the political class. They watch from the sidelines as the powerful drive in lal battis (cars with red beacon). We need to meet their urgent demands of jobs," he said.
Rahul said only a handful of people control the political space and power is highly centralised. "We don't empower people at the bottom. People feel they are outside of the system. That happens because we don't respect knowledge. We respect only positions. If you don't have position, you mean nothing.
"Why people are angry. Because they are alienated from the system,. Their voices are trampled upon. All our systems - justice, education, political, administration - are designed to keep people with knowledge out. Mediocrity dominates discussions," he said in his 40-minute speech that was repeatedly cheered by party leaders.