If and when she assumes power as Prime Minister, BSP chief will scrap the National Rural Employment Guarantee Program (NREGP) - a scheme that "heaps humiliation and demeans the spirit of the poor as self respecting citizens".
Setting the tone for the mid-term elections to the Lok Sabha and targeting the Congress as enemy number one, the BSP chief thundered at a huge gathering on Monday. "My voters are not beggars. They are citizens of this country and they can do without the charity of Rs100 per day of employment. The NREGP is all hogwash - a ploy to divert people's attention from the serious task of providing stable employment to the people".
Besides targeting the UPA government's flagship program, the reason the BSP chief chose Jhansi as the location to vent fury against the Congress is this: The Bundelkhand region (with Jhansi as the perceived capital) is emerging as the political battleground for demands of statehood from smaller regions. Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi -addressing a rally here - had said on January 18 that only 5 paisa out of one rupee was reaching intended beneficiaries of centrally sponsored schemes because of the faulty delivery mechanism of the state government.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too is expected to visit the region mid-next month to announce a special developmental package for the region.