New Delhi: The UPA government has changed the development paradigm in India by enacting rights-based legislation, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said Tuesday.
At a function held here to confer freehold rights on residents of 45 resettlement colonies, Rahul Gandhi said giving rights-based legislation was a guarantee of progress.
"Nobody will go hungry. This is the guarantee," Rahul Gandhi said highlighting the food security bill, passed by Parliament, as a major achievement of the central government headed by the Congress, which is also at the helm in the capital, which goes to polls this year-end.
Reaching out to the common man, he said the Congress wanted to fulfill the dreams of those who toiled hard.
"In the last 10 years, we have changed the development paradigm. We are giving rights (to people)," he said.
Speaking in the same vein as his mother Sonia Gandhi, who pushed the food security bill in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi said the party will implement the bill even if it was construed as wastage of money by certain sections.
"They (the critics) say that money will be wasted. Is providing food a wastage of money? Even if money is being wasted, we will do it. Because we want that the poor of the country should stand on the basis of his rights," he said.
Rahul Gandhi claimed that opposition parties in parliament were not in favour of the right to food. "Opposition (parties) said it should not be done."
Assembly polls will be held in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram around November. Lok Sabha polls are scheduled around May 2014.
Rahul Gandhi said rights-based legislations were a guarantee of progress and referred to the rural jobs law enacted by the UPA earlier.
He said the right to information law enacted by the alliance was an effective tool to deal with corruption.
Congratulating house owners on whom he conferred the freehold rights, he said the infrastructure in Delhi had been built by people staying in small clusters.
"That is the difference between Congress and other parties. We say that infrastructure should be built but people who build it should also be helped. This is the meaning of government of common man," he said.
The decision to give freehold rights is expected to provide relief to 1.5 million people in Delhi. It is being seen as a major election sop by the Congress government.
"The way the city has been built, it is due to your blood and sweat. The infrastructure that has been built, it is due to your sweat," he said.
The Congress leader said the country was urbanising at a rapid pace and about 50 percent of the population was projected to be living in cities by the end of the next 20 years.
"It is not a small change. Our country is second (in population). In some years, it will be number one," Rahul Gandhi said.
He said the transition of population from villages to cities was not easy.
"Sometimes people leave their families in villages. They toil hard for their dreams. We want to fulfill that dream. The people who built flyovers, their dreams should be fulfilled," he said.
Making a veiled reference to political sections in Mumbai who targeted migrants in Mumbai, Rahul Gandhi said Delhi welcomed people irrespective of the place they came from.
Lauding the Sheila Dikshit government, he said Delhi had seen the metro rail network, roads and flyovers being built at a rapid pace.
"India knows that if infrastructure has been built, it is in Delhi," he said.