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Country can’t be run without involving all sections: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi was speaking at the inaugural function of the three-day ‘National Tribal Dance Festival, 2019’ held at the Science College ground in Raipur.

Hitting out at the Centre over the “deteriorating” economy, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the country cannot be run without involving every section of the society.

In a veiled attack on the government over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Gandhi also said that nothing can be gained by making people fight among themselves.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of the three-day ‘National Tribal Dance Festival, 2019’ held at the Science College ground here.

“You know the condition of the country. What is happening in other states…,” he said in an apparent reference to the CAA and NRC.

“You all know the problem of farmers’ suicide, deteriorating condition of the economy, unemployment. There is no need to repeat all these,” he added.

“But I would like to say that without taking people from every religion, every caste, tribals, Dalits and backwards together, the economy of the country cannot be run,” Mr. Gandhi said.

“You (Centre) do whatever you want, but unless you take people along and unite the country, you cannot do anything to tackle the problem of unemployment and economy.

Nothing can be gained by breaking things. The country cannot benefit by making people fight among themselves,” he added.

“If you (Centre) give the entire money to just 10-15 people of the country, implement demonetisation and unscrupulous GST, then neither can employment be generated nor can the economy be strengthened,” he said.

Praising the Congress-led Chhattisgarh government for organising the tribal dance fest, he said such events underline the country’s unity in diversity.

“All of us have come here to see the folk dance and culture of tribals in this event and it will also give us a chance to understand their history. But I want that it should not only be limited to this, rather the voices of the tribals should be heard by the government. Their ideas should be included in the functioning of the government,” he said.

“It is indeed a very good step and it should be taken further. Tribals had to face a lot of problems. I am happy to say that the voices of tribals are being heard in Chhattisgarh government.

“Be it procurement of tendu leaves (at higher prices), returning land of tribals or actions against malnutrition, the state government is closely working with tribals here,” he said.

In an apparent reference to the Maoist menace, he said the violence in the state has declined, as the government here is listening to the voices of people.

“Voices of all people are being heard in the state Assembly,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said the state has around 32 percent tribal population and it is the government’s responsibility to protect and preserve their culture.

Around 1,300 artistes from the country and abroad had given their consent to participate in this dance festival, but around 1,800 have taken part in it, Baghel added.

United Nations Resident Coordinator in India, Renata Lok-Dessallien, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, state cabinet ministers and many other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

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