11 January 2019
Dubai: On his maiden visit to the UAE, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday reached out to Indian expatriates and assured them of accommodating and redressing their issues in the party's manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections.
Gandhi, who reached here on Thursday night, held talks with UAE business leaders in the day and followed up with an interactive session with Indian workers at Jebel Ali industrial area.
Addressing the workers, Gandhi also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his monthly radio programme (mann ki baat), saying "I am not here to say my 'mann ki baat', but I am here to listen to your mann ki baat".
"Leaving your families behind in India, you all are here working hard to earn for your family. I am here to assure you that we are with you... I am here to listen to your problems. Whatever help we can extend, we are ready," said Gandhi amid loud applause.
Accompanied by former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Indian Overseas Congress chairman Sam Pitroda, Gandhi interacted with the workers, enquiring about the problems faced by them in Dubai and their families back in India.
With several workers complaining about not getting their full salaries and getting cheated by touts, Gandhi asked them to inform their grievances to Pitroda so that they are accommodated in the Congress manifesto.
"Share all your problems and issues with Pitroda, we will have them in our manifesto. We want to know about all your problems and what the Indian government should do to them. Not this government (Modi government) but the one which is coming to power after the elections," he said.
"I assure you the government will work for you and your families back in India".
Replying to a worker from Amravati in Andhra Pradesh, Gandhi assured the state of a special category status if the Congress came to power at the Centre.
As part of his global outreach programme ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi also interacted with representatives of the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), Dubai and met the Punjabi community.