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Rahul Gandhi At Sewagram Emphasises On The Need To Give More Power To Local Leaders

By Expert Author: Ratndeep Kumar

Wardha: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi visited Sewagram in Wardha, Maharashtra and interacted with the representatives of the Panchayat Leaders from across the country to seek their views on the party manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections. Earlier Rahul Gandhi had made similar interactions at Bangalore, Bhopal and Amethi.
"Earlier the manifesto used to be made behind the closed doors. This time we are making the manifesto after speaking to the people, women, SC/STs and whatever suggestions you give will be included in the manifesto. If our party comes to power, we will implement whatever is there in the manifesto. I thank you all for coming from far distances” he started his opening remarks. He added that the power lies within a handful of people.
“Rajiv Gandhi had talked about telecom revolution. You all are aware of it and I am sure all of you will have your mobile phones in your pockets. There was a time, when MPs only had the quota for telephone connections. It was their discretion to allot telephones and if you don’t know any MP, they it was very difficult to get a phone connection. It was like a monopoly of some selected people. The aam aadmi could not get any connection” recalled Rahul Gandhi and then continued, “How Rajiv Gandhi ji broke this monopoly? He opened up the telecom system for the people. PCOs were opened across the country, in all villages, and that created a revolution. We also must open up the political system, like we did it for telecom. Rajiv Gandhi had a vision to open up the system by Section 73 and 74. He wanted the power to reach grass roots”.
“There is 50% reservation at local bodies for women now. But the Bill to grant 33% reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies are still pending. We cannot reform the political systems without ensuring that the pradhans and local bodies are properly empowered” emphasised the Congress leader.
“We must be successful in three important facts, if we want to call ourselves a super power” said the Congress leader and explained, “Democracy is our greatest strength. We will have to strengthen it further by taking it to the grass root, by empowering the aam aadmi. MPs, MLAs, local bodies must be properly empowered. They must have their rights and powers. Secondly, 50% of India are women. India can only be half-strong, half-proud, half-powerful if we do not empower this 50%. Finally, there must be systematic measures to provide employment to the youth. Without that we cannot become superpower” and the audience welcomed it with loud applauds.
“We will not stop, till we ensure that aam aadmi is empowered” said Rahul Gandhi while concluding his remarks.
The Panchayat leaders spoke about the education system, land mafia and other issues that needed the attention from the Centre. Representatives from the adivasi community, NGOs and gram panchayats were present at the interaction.

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