Rahul Gandhi urges Odisha voters to protect Constitution

Bolangir: Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today called upon the electorate in Odisha to champion the preservation of the Constitution by turning out in large numbers to support the INDIA bloc.

Speaking at a public rally in Bolangir constituency, Gandhi emphasized that the paramount issue in the current electoral context is safeguarding the Constitution and the principles espoused by B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi.

Highlighting the potential repercussions of a compromised Constitution, Gandhi underscored that its erosion would entail the loss of fundamental rights for ordinary citizens, jeopardize land ownership, nullify the reservation system, and undermine public sector entities. He cautioned against a scenario where the country could be steered by a mere 22 billionaires following the purported “destruction” of constitutional values.

Expressing grave concern, Gandhi noted that a political party had openly threatened to dismantle the Constitution if elected, a move he vehemently opposed. He reminded BJP members that the rights and protections afforded to marginalized communities, including the poor, Dalits, minorities, tribals, farmers, and laborers, are enshrined in the Constitution and cannot be tampered with.

Gandhi also criticized BJP leaders for their rhetoric on abolishing reservation, which he stressed was a crucial tool for empowerment provided by visionaries like Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru.

In outlining the INDIA alliance’s vision, Gandhi pledged substantial improvements in welfare measures, including raising wages under MGNREGS, doubling salaries for Anganwadi and Asha workers, and filling vacant government positions. He reiterated the party’s commitment to providing guaranteed employment for fresh graduates and diploma holders, along with financial support and skill training for unemployed youths, and debt relief for farmers.

Furthermore, Gandhi detailed plans to provide financial assistance to marginalized families, including Dalits, Adivasis, minorities, and economically disadvantaged individuals, by depositing monthly installments into their bank accounts. He also highlighted the need for comprehensive caste census to ascertain the true representation of backward classes and marginalized groups in various sectors.

Accusing the BJP of prioritizing the interests of the wealthy elite over those of the common people, Gandhi decried the alleged sale of public sector assets to capitalists and the forgiveness of loans worth trillions for a select few. He lamented the BJP’s failure to address the concerns of farmers, students, and small traders, while highlighting its neglect of marginalized communities.

Interestingly, Gandhi refrained from directly criticizing the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in his address.