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At AICC plenary, Congress president Rahul Gandhi slams BJP for 'using anger to divide country'

Congress president Rahul Gandhi came down heavily on the BJP in his first address to the party plenary today, saying the saffron outfit "uses anger" to divide the country, something the Congress will never do.

He also said the BJP's "emphasis on divisive politics" has led its focus away from key issues like unemployment and farmers' distress, and added that the Congress is the only party that can take the country forward, bringing along with it each and every citizen regardless of caste or creed.

"The country is tired, it's looking for a way, I say from my heart that only the Congress can show India the way. The difference between the Congress and the Opposition (BJP), the big difference, is they use anger, we use love and regard for our fellow humans," said Rahul in his first address to a Congress plenary since becoming party president.

The 84th plenary of the Congress began today. Over the two-day meet, the Congress is set to roll out a road map for reversing its downward electoral journey. Therefore, with his eye firmly on Lok Sabha 2019, Rahul told members the Congress is the only party that can take the country forward.

"This plenary's goal is to show the country and the Congress the way. The people of this country, they see Modi and see no way forward. They can't understand where they will get employment from, when farmers will get the right price (for their crop)," he said, highlighting two hot button issues he's been targeting the Centre on for a while now.

Instead of focussing on development and trying to alleviate the distress of farmers, the BJP, said Rahul, is dividing people.

"Anger is being spread in the country, the country is being divided, people are being made to fight each other. Our job is to join people, bring them together and this 'hand' (party symbol), the only one that can bring the country together and take it forward. And this hand's strength is in all of you," said the Congress president.

"I will repeat that this country belongs to all of us?all religions, all castes, all people. Anything the Congress does will be for all people and no one will be left behind," said Rahul.

The plenary sessions will be attended by the party's top leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh and former party chief Sonia Gandhi, its mandarins from across the country and workers.

The party is hoping that around 15,000 party members will attend the two-day open session.