Varanasi: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asserted that he was content with his party being out of power in Uttar Pradesh but would not join hands with any undesirable elements.
"We will not align with criminals and thieves at any cost," he said at an election rally in Pindra, 28 km from this eastern Uttar Pradesh city.
"I do not mind even if you give just two or four seats to the Congress in UP, but let me make it very clear that under no circumstances will we make any compromises."
"My last drop of blood and sweat will be dedicated to the larger interest of the people for whom I will always be ready to do anything; but we have no room for goondas (goons)," he declared.
Striking an emotional chord with the gathering, he said: "I may not be in a position to change the world but I can surely ensure respect for the people of Uttar Pradesh," evoking resounding applause.
Embarking on the lack of basic amenities in the state, he said: "When I and my sister Priyanka were attending to our mother when she was hospitalised in US recently, we saw the kind of facilities that were available there. That set me thinking about the plight of the people of this state when they were faced with a similar situation."
"I want to ensure that if someone went to a hospital in UP, he should get good treatment, if a child went to school, he should get good education and if an unemployed man was looking for a job, he should be able to get it in his own state and does not have to go hundreds of miles in search of employment."
"But the tragedy is that leaders of various political parties who have ruled UP over the past 22 years never cared to look into these vital issues; instead they went about talking only of caste and religion on which they thrived," he said.
In yet another bid to touch the emotions of his audience, he added: "Behind every success of a nation lies the toil of its people... my contribution is not even a fraction of the labour that you people put in. After all you are the ones who feed the entire nation."
Rahul's Saturday itinerary also included similar rallies at Sant Kabir Nagar and Siddharth Nagar in other parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.