The Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi made deep forays into the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's bastion attacking his adversaries alike for indulging in caste politics and promising a new look Congress with a youth face to accomplish his Mission UP 2012.
As Rahul Gandhi addressed a massive rally at PD Jain Inter College ground here he added a new chapter not only to the strained relationship between his party and the SP. A large crowd had assembled not only in the ground but also on the roof tops of adjoining buildings and the flyover in front of dais.
Rahul used the occasion to attack the non-Congress government including the SP led governments that have ruled the state for the past 20 years. “I am a youth from Uttar Pradesh. I have a question. What did we get as a youth in the past 20 years,” asked Rahul. “How many of us did get jobs and how far have we moved on the path of progress and development,” he asked.
This was for the first time that Rahul identified himself as a youth from Uttar Pradesh. As Rahul posed these questions a responsive crowd said no crossing hands in the air. This was also for the first time that Rahul campaigned in any by-election outside Rae Bareli. But Rahul exuded confidence that the Congress candidate cine star turned politician Raj Babbar will emerge victorious in the by-election against Mulayam's daughter in law Dimple Yadav.
Her husband and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav took out an impressive cycle rally from Shikohabad to Raja Ka Tal (about 25 km) just before his meeting. But the crowd continued to swell for Rahul Gandhi. At many places the COngress and the SP workers came face to face. “I am sure Raj Babbar will be with me in Lok Sabha after by-election,” he declared, “We will take Uttar Pradesh ahead on the path of progress and ahead of all other states in the country.” Stressing upon the need of bringing about a change in the state in the next assembly elections Rahul said the leaders in the country had distanced themselves from the people. “We will bring about a change in the Congress before the next assembly elections. Congress will be a party of youths before the assembly elections. No one will indulge in caste politics and we will work for development,” said.
Rahul also focused his address farmers and the poor and said India had been virtually divided into the country of the rich and the country of the poor. Rahul made a specific reference to the British Foreign Secretary Miliband's visit to a village of Amethi to give a strong rebuttal to his adversaries who criticise his visits to rural areas and night stay at the house of dalits. “I don't take them to village to show poverty. I take them there to show the real strength of India. I made them interact, eat and sleep at the house of people whose hard work is taking India ahead.”