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Speech at Thiruvananthapuram

I am very happy to be here at this beautiful place of Kerala.. I am also proud of people of Kerala. The people of Kerala have demonstrated how one can live with harmony, with so many diversities and with so many cultures in the same state.  

One cannot talk about Kerala without talking about those Keralites who work outside India and putting in their hard work for this country. Entire country is extremely grateful to them. The people of Kerala have been playing big roles in constructing palatial buildings in Middle East. Whenever I go to Middle East I remember the Keralites when I see very big buildings there. I know that without them these high-rise buildings would not have been a reality.

Few years back, I happened to visit a hospital in Dubai. It was a multi-speciality hospital with all modern facilities. They told me that they wanted to show me the heart of the hospital. I went with them. They took me to a room where all modern equipments were kept. And the persons who operated those modern equipments were Keralites. And according to them, these Keralites, who operate such modern machineries, are the heart of the hospital.

I was told recently that our people in Saudi Arabia had to face some problems in Saudi Arabia because of change in policies in that country and I am very happy that the Central Government took necessary measures to find solutions to those issues. 

This function is being held to mark the second anniversary of Congress-led UDF government in Kerala and also as a concluding function of a successful Yatra led by Congress President in the state. I also congratulate the leaders of the Congress for conducting such a successful state-wide tour to get the first-hand knowledge of the views of the people. Through this Yatra, the Congress in the state has reached out to the people to know their feelings and realise their requirements. We have one of the most dynamic and capable Chief Ministers in Kerala and I am sure that he will take necessary measures to work for more development in the state.

I also want to share some of the feelings about the ongoing political affairs in our country. During my last visit to Kerala, I happened to attend a meeting in a panchayat. During the meeting one of the members raised his hands and told me that at present there is a huge distance between the politicians and common man.  We should bridge this gap between politicians and common man. The common man should get the feeling that he can be a part in the political decisions.

We have taken a large step in Youth Congress and NSUI to bring in more youngsters to politics. We should ensure more and more youth join politics as we must understand that they too must have a role in the political system.  I know we have a Chief Minister who frequently interacts with people at different level and undoubtedly this is a positive step.

Kerala has been a role model in many fields like education and health. It is a beautiful place, as I had already said. Kerala will soon become a most suitable business destination. As I had said, lots of Keralites migrate to other places and put in their hard work there. But now, we should have more employment opportunities in Kerala too. It is very important that we focus on two things – world class infrastructure and a world class higher education system.

Kerala has achieved tremendous success in Primary and Secondary education but we must work hard to achieve the same in the Higher education also. I had discussed this matter with your Chief Minister also. I also appreciate that the UDF Govt in Kerala has been doing well to improve the infrastructure development in the state. I am happy that I didn’t see any half-built fly over during my present trip.  During the previous LDF rule, I had visited Kerala and I saw some half-built fly-overs. I went back. After some period, I again came to Kerala and surprisingly I saw that the same fly-over was remaining half built there. Such things are not seen now and for that I congratulate UDF Govt here. I also congratulate the present Kerala Govt for their efforts for Vizhinjam port, smart city, metro rail and mono rail projects.  I also know that a new airport project at Kanoor is also underway.

As far as the development in Kerala is concerned I assure all possible help from the Central Government. Whatever help Kerala needs for development from the centre, I assure that it will be given in full. I will be happy to coordinate with the senior leaders and Chief Minister in this regard. Kerala Govt will have full support from Central Government in Delhi.

I want to say something about the present opposition parties in Kerala. I would like to say that they are anti-development. Everyone has the right to express their opinion in politics. But what is disturbing me that the opposition parties in Kerala use violence against their opponents. 

As you know the rest of the world have given up communism. Even China also has completely transformed the policies of Communism they used to have. I would urge the Communists in Kerala to look around to the rest of the world and analyse why this ideology has failed everywhere. They are insisting to carry on with an ideology which is no longer relevant.

I had just now requested the Kerala Govt to concentrate on development. But as Congress party, one must not forget that, we believe in inclusive growth. We should treat all sections of the societies – SCs, STs, farmers, labourers and minorities – equally and must ensure their rights. We should understand their need and pains and must find solutions for those.

The UPA govt had brought in some excellent programmes in this regard like MNREGA, RTI and now we are ready with Food Security Bill. We want to ensure that no one in our country lives in hunger. But it is very unfortunate that the opposition parties are trying to halt all the welfare measures taken by the Centre. When we want to ensure that all poor must get sufficient food, the opposition blocks the move. I want to guarantee that the poor will not starve anymore and we will definitely get the Food Security Bill passed in the Parliament.

Congress believes that every single Indian must be a part in the development process. Recently I had visited Rajasthan. The Rajasthan Govt has brought in a Janani Medical Programme by which free medicines are being distributed to the poor people. Private hospitals are not affordable for the poor. So we must take measures to ensure health care facilities for the poor and weaker sections. 

I would like to end by thanking you once again for making this Yatra a successful one.

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