With just a week left for the poll results, Congress youth leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday promised to return after the elections and work for the development of the state, irrespective of which party forms the government in the state.
In a short and a crisp speech, Gandhi blamed the caste politics played by different political parties for the backwardness of the state. "Other states are moving forward and UP is moving back and it is only because of the caste politics here," he said, while exhorting the youth to end the malaise and start a new chapter for the future of the state.
Clearly aiming younger voters, he said, "sixty per cent of UP's population comprises youth. And, if you think differently and work with vigour UP can change." He also made a promise that he will work with them after the elections to take 'UP to the place it deserves'. Gandhi identified lack of employment avenues as the prime reason for state's backwardness forcing youth to look for work in other states. "People from UP are contributing in the development of other states but in UP there are no jobs for them," he said.
A wait for over three hours for a huge gathering from rural Ballia did not dampen their spirit to have a glimpse of hope for the Congress in UP --- Rahul Gandhi, who accused the state governments of siphoning off huge amount of money that the state gets from the Central government for the development works. "The Prime Minister gives 50 per cent of the funds for UP. But all the money vanished in Lucknow and nothing reaches the people," he said.
He urged the people to believe that the money allocated is theirs and not that of the government in Delhi or Lucknow and wanted them to question the governments about utilization of public funds. "You know the condition of roads and schools. Things will change only if you assert yourself," he advised.
Earlier, State Congress President Salman Khurshid termed Rahul Gandhi, a youth with fire, to change the fortune of UP. He also recalled the rebellion of Mangal Pandey and Chittu Pandey and sought similar action against the present government when they go to vote.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday accused the Central government of denying sufficient funds for the state, a cause of slow progress. He also claimed that his party was coming back to power and accused his opponents ---BSP, BJP and the Congress --- of spreading wrong information.