Congress will be more approachable towards its supporters, will keep our door open: Rahul

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday tried to woo back the party’s vote bank in the Capital by highlighting the “desertion” of the Aam Aadmi Party. He was speaking at a rally at the Virat Cinema Ground, which comes under the South Delhi constituency.

The Congress leader said although the party accepted the people’s mandate and supported the regime led by the AAP, the latter left the people in the lurch in search of a national role.

Although he did not name any one, Mr. Gandhi made a veiled attack at former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plans to contest from Varanasi by saying: “Those running the government in Delhi (after us) left for Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere and Delhi had to pay the price for their decision.” He also attacked the party for not keeping its promises on water and power tariffs as well as regularisation of contracted workers.

As for his party’s defeat in the Assembly elections, Mr. Gandhi said by voting out the Congress government despite the development works it carried out over the past 15 years, people tried to send a message. The message, he said, was that the party be more approachable towards its supporters by keeping its door open for them.

Mr. Gandhi said his party intended to restore the connect it once had with people. “We have made younger leaders head the legislative party and the State unit (Arvinder Singh heads both) and we will continue these reforms after the elections,” he said.

The Amethi MP also launched an attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party and the development model proposed by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. The improved attendance and more responsive crowd were in contrast with another rally in the same venue prior to the Assembly elections. Back then, not only was the crowd thin but the then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was forced to appeal to the people to wait for some more time to hear Mr. Gandhi’s speech.