Rahul Gandhi will remain associated with affairs of Uttar Pradesh until such time that the state's past glory is restored and the Congress is brought back to power.
Making this commitment at Moradabad, the Congress leader appealed to the youth in the state to take upon itself the responsibility to wrench out the state from its present morass of corruption, criminalisation and communal discord.
The Uttar Pradesh youth is doing wonders in states like Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra but are unable to get things moving in their own state because of governments of the day having been tying down their hands instead of setting them free. "All this has to change and the youth – who constitute about 60 per cent of the state's population – will need to assume responsibility as the drivers of this process of change." "I will stand by you shoulder-to-shoulder in this task", Rahul said. "I belong to a family that – once decides on something- does not rest until the task is accomplished," he added.
Crowd response at the Jama Masjid grounds – this "jumma" day – was truly amazing – despite Rahul's arrival three and a half hours behind schedule. Rahul – accompanied by party leaders Salman Khurshid and Captain Satish Sharma – was brief but pointed in his speech. His twenty five minute address was interspersed by loud sloganeering and there was virtual hell breaking loose when Rahul climbed down the stage to mingle with the crowds.
Yeh Chokra zaroor kuch karega"
(this boy will surely do something worthwhile), said 80 year old Hamid Mian – an old resident.
Time was, said Rahul, when Uttar Pradesh was the model and foremost amongst all states on all parameters – referring to the state's contribution in the freedom movement and the "period of development, peace and stability" during previous Congress regimes. "In the last fifteen years, not an iota of work has been done. Schools, hospitals, roads and the power situation is pathetic," he rued. The responsibility for such a state of affairs rested entirely on the shoulders of those at the helm in the last decade and a half," he added.
Elaborating on his commitment to improve matters in the state, Rahul asserted that he had not come to Moradabad for the elections. "I am here to play a long innings and will not rest until a Congress government is formed at Lucknow."
Without naming anybody, Rahul said that his feedback was that the people in the state – particularly the youth – was fed up with the brand of politics being pursued in the last decade and a half and were desperate for a change. "We can and we will bring about this change," he asserted.
Earlier, state party Chief Salman Khurshid asserted that the Congress would have a major role to play in the formation of the next government in the state.