Rahul for manifesto by people, BJP says voters want Cong to go

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 21 July 2013, 10:49 PM

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is in favour of seeking people's views in formulating the party's manifesto for Lok Sabha election, a move the BJP ridiculed saying the electorate want a Congress-free country.

Sources said that in one of the closed-door meetings with party leaders recently, Gandhi said the party must incorporate what the people want in the manifesto and it should be finalised by seeking their views and not sitting in offices.

"It should have the involvement of people," Gandhi is learnt to have said.

Asked about Gandhi's views expressed in a recent meeting, a senior party leader said that Gandhi has taken this stand for a long time now and has been expressing it in a number of internal party meetings.

"After all manifestos are for the people. So it is very logical that we take their views," a party leader said.

The leader had spoken on similar lines in his first speech after his elevation as Congress Vice President during the Jaipur conclave in January.

But BJP was not impressed with this suggestion by Gandhi and quipped that the overwhelming opinion among the masses is to remove the Congress from power.

"If Congress goes to the people they will only say enough is enough. People want the Congress to go and BJP to come to power. They have no hopes from the Congress. It has only given us price rise, corruption, scams and nothing else," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

Hussain, who was appointed a member of BJP's manifesto committee, said Congress failed to get the Lokpal Bill passed in the last nine years, reduce prices and check corruption.

"The Congress does what it wants. It does not care for the people. BJP will come out with a responsible manifesto as it is set to come to power," he claimed.

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party, which is contesting Delhi assembly elections, has earlier said that it will produce a separate manifesto for each constituency.

Anna Hazare had also talked about direct involvement of poeple in policy making.

Congress sources maintained that Gandhi wanted that the manifesto for the Lok Sabha election in particular should not be prepared by few party leaders but by talking to people at the grass root.

The Congress Vice President is of the view that the views of the general public should be reflected in the policies and programmes to be taken up in the next party manifesto.

Soon after his anointment as Congress Vice President in party's Chintan Shivir at Jaipur, Gandhi had said,"     But there are many challenges ahead. The voices of a billion Indians are today telling us that they want a greater say in government, in politics and in administration.

"They are telling us that the course of their lives cannot be decided by a handful of people behind closed doors who are not fully accountable to them."

Gandhi had added "every single day, I meet people who have tremendous understanding, deep insight and no voice. And all of us meet them. They are everywhere. But almost always they are kept outside our systems. No one can hear their voice. No matter how much  they try to speak no one listens.

"And then I meet people holding high positions with tremendous voice but with no understanding for the issues at hand."

Noting that we "need the aam aadmi to participate in our politics", Gandhi had said, "until we start to respect and empower people for their knowledge, for their understanding, we are never going to change this country."

"We need the aam aadmi to participate in our politics. Because even as I speak their future is being decided in closed rooms. There is a young and impatient India and it is demanding a greater voice in the nation's future. Let me tell you that they are not going to watch silently," he had said making a strong pitch to involve people in policy making.

First Published: Saturday, July 20, 2013 10:29 PM
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