Dubai, Jan 11: India’s Congress party president Rahul Gandhi began his two-day visit to the UAE by meeting hundreds of Indian workers at the Mujamel workers accommodation in Jebel Ali on Friday morning.
Later Gandhi attended an interactive meeting organised by the Indian Business and Professional Council in Dubai. Around 200 invited Indian business leaders and professionals attended the function.
The Indian economy is failing because Prime Minister Narendra Modi is regurgitating the ideas of the nineties, India’s Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Friday.
Addressing Indian business leaders from the UAE and other Gulf countries, Mr Gandhi said India was facing a major job problem and strategic thinking is required to overcome it.
Gandhi said India needs new economic ideas to boost growth.
He blamed centralization of powers under Modi for corruption and said election funding must be made transparent.
He was speaking at an event organized by Indian Business and Professional Council at Grand Hyatt in Dubai. The luncheon gathering was attended by the UAE’s top businessmen and professionals. “India is chaotic but don’t underestimate how big you are.”
Gandhi while talking to workers in Jebel Ali, Dubai, said: “I want to thank you all," he told them in Hindi. "The success of Dubai, the progress of the UAE, Dubai Metro would not have been possible without your contribution...and made Indians proud."
Microphones were passed around so that labourers could pose questions. One such questions came from Arwin Kumal, 48, from Uttar Praddesh, who has worked in Dubai for over five years.
"I asked the Indian government to please look into our problems," he told a local news paper of his request to Gandhi. "And he said he will do whatever he can."
Bindra Prasad, 48, also from UP, and a worker in Dubai for 15 years said: "We are very happy he came because he's our leader who will come to power this year.
"You cannot force someone to help you but we hope he will."
Danesh Kumar, 30, from UP who has been here 10 years, added: "I'm happy because at least he came to listen to us. It doesn't matter who it is so long as we get some relief.
Claiming that he is not a big shot, Gandhi said he is one among them and would always stand by them. "Whatever you want, whatever issues you have, I am ready to listen to you from heart to help solve them," he said.
Gandhi told the workers that there is no need for them to be afraid of anything. "The battle has begun...and we are going to win," he said, hinting at the upcoming general elections in India.
Interacting with the workers, he promised them that Sam Pitroda, the chairman of Indian Overseas Congress who is accompanying him, will discuss the matters they want the party to include in its election manifesto.
Rahul Gandhi addresses Indian workers, business leaders in Dubai