This post was originally published on 12 January 2019.
Indian National Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday reached out to the Indian expatriates in the UAE and assured them to accommodate all their problems in the party manifesto to help find a redressal to the long-standing grievances.
Gandhi, who is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a two-day visit, interacted with the Indian workers at Jebel Ali industrial area and enquired about their problems.
“I have come here to tell you that I stand by you. You leave your families behind in India, you all toil hard to earn for your families. 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,” he said amid a loud applause.
Gandhi was accompanied by former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Indian Overseas Congress chairman Sam Pitroda.
While enquiring about their problems in Dubai and their families in India, several workers complained about not getting their full salaries. They also informed him about getting swindled by agents.
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,” he added.
His public gathering at Dubai International Cricket Stadium was filled up with tens of thousands of people from several states across India. A cultural show marked the start of the event.
Addressing NRIs at Stadium, Gandhi said that he is aware of aspirations of NRIs in this region and he is ready to help them achieve it.
“I understand that you have problem of representation. You have a desire for representation in the Parliament. We are going to do that so that your voice is heard in India. Your voice is going to be strongly embedded into our manifesto as well,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi called upon the NRI community to play their part in India’s development.
“You are India’s biggest strength. You have made a tremendous role in making India what it is today. Without the help of NRIs, it would have been impossible for India to be where it is today,” he said.
Recalling the major contribution of NRIs, he mentioned Mahatma Gandhi’s decision to return to India and lead the freedom movement, Sam Pitroda’s coming home to revolutionise telecom sector, and Verghese Kurien for leading Operation Flood – the world’s largest agricultural dairy development programme.
“I want you to understand that India’s future is connected with you. If you are happy and successful, India is happy and successful. You are part of that great India and you have to show it to the world,” he told to a cheering crowd.
Gandhi also interacted with representatives of the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), Dubai and met the Punjabi community as part of his global outreach programme ahead of the general elections.