Hitting the campaign trail in Noida on Friday, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said that successive state governments had used the NCR city as a “money-extracting machine” in the last 22 years.
Addressing an election rally at Noida Stadium on Friday evening — his first in the city — Rahul said that the earlier governments of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made money out of Noida and took the “loot” to Lucknow.
“Noida came into being in 1976. It was Congress’ vision. We had conceptualised a modern city on the lines of Delhi but loot of public money was not in our concept,” Gandhi told the crowd. He added, “This city needs to change. It can be changed. And time for that change has come."
“I wouldn’t make promises because I respect you. All I want to say is age is on my side. I’m only 41. I’m in no hurry. I’m ready for a long haul. I want to work with you,” Rahul said.
Between May and July last year, the Gandhi scion had visited Bhatta-Parsaul and Jewar areas in Greater Noida following a bloody clash between farmers, who had sought greater compensation for their land, and the police.
Attacking the opposition for rising crime and corruption, he said though Noida shared borders with Delhi and Haryana, those areas were witnessing all-round development but the suburb city had fallen victim to misadministration.
“We formed the government in Delhi in 2004. We didn’t make too many promises. We only said people’s voice would be listened to. See where the state is now.” On Sunda, Rahul is likely to address a rally at Dadri. Noida, Dadri and Jewar are the three assembly seats in Gautam Budh Nagar district that go to polls on February 28.