Rahul attacks Centre over intolerance, says divisive forces ruining nation's reputation

In New York, Rahul Gandhi steps up attack on Modi govt; says divisive forces ruining India's reputation

Further addressing the gathering Gandhi spoke about agriculture, terming it to be a strategic asset of our country. Gandhi is in the U.S. on a two-week-long tour. Congress has vision to solve this problem, he also said.

"We can not afford to lose our most powerful asset - that is the 1.3 billion people (who have) lived happily, non-violently and peacefully. the world respected us for that", he added. There are forces in our country that are dividing the country and it is very unsafe for the country and it ruins our reputation abroad, "Mr Gandhi said in his address to the Indian National Overseas Congress in New York.He said it was incumbent on the Congress to defend India "s reputation as a land of peace and harmony."India's reputation in the world is very important".

"Many countries in a violent world are looking towards India and saying may be India has the answer for the 21st century, maybe India has the answer for peaceful coexistence".

On Intolerance and violenceAsserting that India's reputation in the world is very important, Gandhi said the world was transforming and the people were looking towards India.

"Everywhere you look there is an Indian working for US & India, building both countries". There is a huge opportunity for India to be world's healthcare centre, we have to plan for it. Our most powerful asset is that 1.3 billion people lived happily, non-violently and peacefully. "The reason they have been able to do so are ideas of the Congress party". The Congress organisation is more than a century old.

Gandhi called the original Congress movement in India an NRI movement, citing the examples of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Chandrasekhar Azad, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and BR Ambedkar, who were all non-resident Indians at one point in time.

"Every day 30,000 new people enter the job market in India but only 450 are getting employed", said Gandhi. Gandhi said India will have to empower small and medium businesses if it has to produce "millions of jobs". He said: "There is a huge migration from villages to cities, but we can not give jobs to such a large number of people in the service sector".

Gandhi said he had met leaders from the Democratic and Republican Party during his two week visit and was asked about the prevailing situation in the country. I want to invite you to work with Congress to discuss vision for going forward. We have many different languages in our country. "And it is very unsafe for the country", he added.

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