Noting that there were two ‘Indias’, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stressed on the need to connect the ‘Shining India’ and ‘Backward India’. The All India Congress General Secretary was in Panvel to campaign for the Congress-NCP alliance in the state assembly elections. NMTV Managing Editor Zeba Warsia was present to witness the charisma of the Gandhi scion that left the audience awestruck for this report. For Rahul Gandhi there is a reason why he has often been credited for championing the cause of India’s poor masses. Those present in Panvel, to hear the young Gandhi were witness to the charismatic magic that Rahul Gandhi is often associated to. From the moment he arrived at the venue to waiving at the crowd in the Gandhi style, one could see why Rahul Gandhi is star campaigner of the ruling Congress party and touted as a future premier. Dressed in a simple white kurta, Rahul Gandhi carried the great legacy of Gandhi family effortlessly. Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. The crowd waited the moment when Rahul Gandhi would take the mike and heard every bit of what he had to say in his address. In his maiden speech in Panvel that marked the commencement of his campaigning in Maharashtra, Rahul Gandhi spoke his heart out on the need to connect the ‘Shining India’ and ‘Backward India’. Rahul Gandhi said that today, two Indias exist today. One is the ‘Shining India’ and the other is the ‘Backward India’. There is a need to connect the two Indias. He said that there are two ideologies in these elections. One is the ideology of Congress, the ‘aam admi’. The other is that of the Opposition, the proponents of ‘India Shining’ which is the ideology of a select few. Describing NREGA as an important achievement of the UPA regime, Rahul Gandhi said that when the Congress started the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the opposition ridiculed them but today whenever he goes to villages and asks villagers what is the government program they like the most, the reply is: NREGA. The Gandhi family scion also enumerated the Right to Information Act and loan waiver for farmers as important accomplishments of the UPA government. The crowd cheered as Rahul Gandhi said that the power of India lies in each individual and that we have to bring that power to the fore. It was disappointment though that Rahul Gandhi refrained from speaking on the most burning issue of Raigad region and that is forceful cultivable land acquisition for the SEZ. After his address, Rahul Gandhi walked up to the crowd. In his trademark style Rahul Gandhi jumped over to meet the villagers who had gathered to him. They showered their affection on Gandhi as he mingled with the admiring crowds of old men and women and little children of the villages. The good-looking Rahul Gandhi whose dimpled face only beamed from electoral posters in the city so far – for the first time the Rahul Gandhi magic came alive for all to experience during his visit to Panvel. Beyond any doubt the young Gandhi rekindles aspirations and faith in the Gandhi leadership by mere personal charisma. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.
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