Rahul Gandhi rubs shoulders with Bengaluru’s pourakarmikas: You deserve better

Bengaluru: “The problem in our country is that the person doing the most difficult work is not rewarded and the person doing the easiest work is rewarded. That is what the Congress wants to change,” said Rahul Gandhi, All India Congress Committee (AICC), president, here on Sunday. 

Interacting with pourakarmikas at Jakkarayanakere, with the statue of his father Rajiv Gandhi in the backdrop, he said, “Pourakarmikas work the hardest to keep the city clean, but get least benefits.” 

Jayamma, a civic worker said, “No other government has supported us like the Congress government.” When Mr Gandhi asked the pourakarmikas what they wanted from the government in the next five years, they unanimously demanded that they should be regularised and their children should get quality education. 
They thanked CM Siddaramaiah for increasing their salaries from Rs 7,500 to Rs 18,000. 

Metro ride
Mr Gandhi travelled in a jam-packed Metro train, walked down the popular streets, bought a few books and had a kulfi from a roadside ice cream parlour on Sunday afternoon.

He took the Metro from Vidhana Soudha to M.G. Road, accompanied by CM  Siddaramaiah, AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal, KPCC chief G. Parameshwara and MP Rajeev Gowda. He took a selfie with Mr Siddarmaiah before boarding the train. Inside the train, he was flooded with requests from commuters for selfies.  After getting down from Church Street side of the station, he walked on the newly cobblestoned stretch. He visited 'Book Worm', a popular book store, where he was gifted six books, including 'A History of God' by Karen Armstrong, 'The Art of Living' by Thich Nhat Hanh and 'The Goat Thief' by Perumal Murugan. 

He walked up till Koshy’s Restaurant at the end of the street and had lunch with his party colleagues. The restaurant proprietor showed him pictures of Mr Gandhi’s great grandfather and first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi relishing food there. 

‘Gabbar Singh Tax’
“The Congress does not agree with the basic design of GST by the BJP. The Congress had planned it as one tax and largest number of things used by poorer sections to be outside the net. Petrol and diesel was to be under GST,” said Mr Gandhi while interacting with trade body representatives and women entrepreneurs.

“Our aim is, the moment we come to power, we will look at Gabbar Singh Tax again and will convert it into what is called GST,” he said. Responding to a query from Janardhan, VP of FKCCI, Mr Gandhi said, “The single biggest challenge in front of our country today is how to give jobs to our youngsters. The only group of people who can compete with China and who can give India the jobs that it requires is small and medium scale industries. 

Today the biggest challenge is that the entire focus on government machinery, banking system and making policies for some 10 to 15 or 20 business people.”


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