The country needs a government which can accommodate the aspirations of all sections of the society and the Congress alone could ensure inclusive growth as it has been consistently working for the welfare of the poor, weaker sections, Dalits and backward classes, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Tuesday.
Making a comparison between the Congress and its rival, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mr. Chidambaram said while the attitude of his party was to take with it all sections of the society irrespective of communal and religious affiliations, the BJP was a party of traders and those belonging to the higher strata of society.
Seeking support for the Congress while campaigning in interior villages in Alangudi Assembly constituency falling under the Sivaganga Parliamentary seat, Mr. Chidambaram took a swipe at the BJP calling it the “political face” of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The RSS which was once a banned organisation was trying to enter politics through the BJP, Mr. Chidambaram claimed, alleging that the BJP was a party which had Hindi and Hindu fanatic elements.
“Can you show an Islamic, Christian and a Dalit leader in the BJP,” he asked, dubbing the five-year, BJP-led NDA government “undignified”.
Listing out the achievements of the 10-year, Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, Mr. Chidambaram said it had brought in the 100-day employment guarantee scheme, Right to Information Act, Right to Education Act and legislation on Food Security, besides waiving farm loans and providing educational loans to students. Why couldn’t the BJP implement these when it ruled for five years, he asked. No BJP leader has ever talked about the 100-day employment guarantee scheme or intentions of to carrying the scheme forward.
Admitting that the Congress had committed mistakes, he said the party had always strived to protect the interests of the Dalits, poor, backward classes and minority.
He said the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, with a handful of elected representatives, cannot do anything at the Centre, as both Dravidian parties had no truck either with the Congress or the BJP and were not even part of the third front.
Appealing to the electorate to ensure victory for the Congress candidates in Tamil Nadu, he said this would enable them to be part of the government at the Centre and bring in more welfare schemes for the State.
The Finance Minister who campaigned in villages including Maanjanviduthi, Arasadipatti, Kummankulam, K.Rasiyamangalam and M. Rasiyamangalam was accompanied by his son, Karthi Chidambaram.