Holding the non-Congress governments, which ruled the state for the last 15 years, responsible for the 'pitiable' condition of the people in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday urged them to give a chance to the Congress to put the state back on the fast track of progress, prosperity and development.
While highlighting the role of the Nehru-Gandhi family in the development of the country, Singh dubbed Rahul Gandhi as "Aapka Bhavisya" (your future) and "Mauke Ki Zazroorat" (need of the hour) and reminded people of the great work done by his father Rajiv Gandhi.
"The entire face of the state would be changed within no time. 'UP Ko Desh Ka Behtarin Rajya Bana Denge', if the Congress comes in power here," he told the people of this backward region which has virtually no industry, employment opportunities, infrastructure and where power and water are a permanent problem.
He called upon the people to stregthen the hands of Sonia Gandhi for speedy progress and development.
Addressing an impressive election meeting in this Sikh-dominated assembly constituency on Sunday, Manmohan Singh appealed to people to vote for the Congress nominee VM Singh, who happens to be cousin of Maenka Gandhi, MP from Pilibhit.
VM Singh, an advocate, it is noteworthy, has declared assets and wealth worth over Rs 375 crore at the time of filing his nomination.
Uttar Pradesh gave a number of prime ministers, including Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, who laid the foundation of a strong and prosperous Bharat, Manmohan Singh said adding UP was also marching fast on the path of development and progress during that period as people were well off, happy.
"Kanpur, Varanasi, Agra, Moradabad, Lucknow, Varanasi etc were known major industrial hub," he said regretting that now the situation was reverse as no new industries were coming and the old ones were being closed down for various reasons, including law and order problem and acute shortage of power.
"Those who ruled the state in the last 15 years did nothing for you but only took care of themselves and their families in every possible manner and left you to live in abject poverty and insecurity," he said. Those who misguided you in the name of mandir and masjid never bothered for you or your welfare, he added.
Claiming that only the Congress could ensure all-round development, the prime minister without taking any names counted the failures of the state government, including on the power, water and law and order fronts. He said youths were being duped in the name of unemployment allowance when they should be provided with jobs.
He accused the state government of not utilising funds worth hundreds of crores provided by the Centre due to fear that the credit for development would go to the UPA government. Various welfare schemes launched by the Centre were not implemented properly and effectively. Singh specially mentioned the Gramin Rozgar Guarantee Yojna in which the maximum number of 39 districts were included from Uttar Pradesh.
He said the Centre provided funds for appointment of two lakh teachers, 25,000 school buildings and also extended the ambitious scheme of linking all the villages with pucca road. Then there were schemes to provide potable water and power in every village by 2009 but none of these projects were implemented sincerely, Singh lamented.