No place for migrants in BJP states, says Rahul

Sheila Dikshit with Rahul Gandhi at the rally on Sunday. Amit Mehra

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday sought to reach out to Delhi's sizeable migrant population, especially those from Uttar Pradesh, by talking about their plight in states such as Maharashtra. In his second public meeting in the capital, he called Delhi "a city of migrants" and pointed out that his family too had come from outside.

Gandhi's speech at the meeting in South Delhi's Madangir area was unusually short. He ended his speech in seven minutes even as the crowd of around 10,000 began leaving. Even before Gandhi spoke, people had started leaving, prompting Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to urge them to stay back and listen to the speech. Before the meeting, she asked the security personnel to not stop the people from entering the ground.

"We view everyone equally. For us, all of us in Delhi are equal be it Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, whichever be their religion and wherever they are from. In Karnataka, in Maharashtra, they create tension. In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena drives out people from UP. Here in our state, there is love and brotherhood. We take everyone along," Gandhi said.

While Karnataka has been under the Congress rule since May, Maharashtra has been under Congress rule since 2009. In his short speech, Gandhi refrained from attacking the BJP and made no mention of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party.

"Delhi is a city of migrants. In one way it is a mini Hindustan. My family moved from Kashmir to UP and from UP they came to Delhi. Sheilaji's family too moved from UP to Delhi. In Delhi, you can feel the energy of Hindustan," he said, in an attempt to strike a chord with the capital's large Poorvanchali population.

He said the Dikshit government had changed the face of Delhi in the last 15 years. "Look at the Delhi international airport. It is considered the number 2 airport in the world. Look at the transport infrastructure. Twenty lakh people are travelling in Delhi Metro daily. Earlier, there used to be shortage of electricity. Now we have 24-hour power supply. No other city has such infrastructure," he said.

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