Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday kickstarted his poll campaign in Odisha on Friday.The Congress scion's visit comes close on the heels Prime Minister Narendra Modi's back-to-back visits to the state.
Addressing an audience at an interactive session at ' The Odisha Dialogue' in Bhubaneshwar, Rahul gandhi shared his views on wide range of topics, including jobs, state of economy and related issues. During the interaction, the Congress leader also alleged that the government was trying to sideline Right to Information (RTI) and Lokpal. "Things like the RTI and Lokpal have been sidelined and ignored. RTI empowers the people of the country. It actually is a weapon of the people, which ensures that there is accountability in the bureaucracy," he said.
He stated that what happened in the last five years was unheard of and devastating. "We believe that India should be run by its 1.2 billion people. We believe that one ideology should not run this country... other ideologies should also be allowed to flourish".
Taking a dig at the RSS, the Congress scion said; "You currently have one institution called the RSS that believes it should be the only institution in the country".
Besides addressing the rally, christened as 'Parivartan Sankalp Samavesh' at Tamando Stadium on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, the Congress chief is slated to meet intellectuals during his day-long visit here, party sources said.
He will also meet employees of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
"There is a lot of enthusiasm among party workers ahead of Rahulji's visit to the state. His visit will certainly motivate them ahead of the elections," Congress' Odisha in-charge Jitendra Singh told reporters here.
Singh, who along with Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik, inspected the venue of Gandhi's public meeting, said the AICC chief will visit Odisha every month till the elections.
Gandhi's tour follows Modi's three visits to the state since December, the latest being on January 15 to the western Odisha town of Balangir.
Modi's high-profile tours will be followed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah's tour on January 29 and February 3, a senior party leader said.
(With PTI inputs)