Rahul Gandhi has a strong message for Bihari youngsters and his party’s state youth Congress: get your act together.
“Biharis have none but themselves to blame for the snub they bring upon themselves, despite being builders and motivators elsewhere,” the Congress leader said, during a visit to Bhitiharwa Ashram in Bettiah in Bihar’s West Champaran district, some 200 km northwest of Patna.
Ninety-three years after Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba rode atop an elephant to reach this place to transform the local farmers’ discontent into a mass movement against the British, Rahul Gandhi flew in here in a chopper to raise the spirits of a moribund Bihar Congress.
But he went on to compare the state’s youngsters — unfavorably — to Uttar Pradesh’s (UP). “It’s not as if UP’s youth are any different but they have imbibed the art of jelling with the national mainstream well,” he said.
Congress has started gaining some lost political ground in UP, but its Bihar unit is in disarray.
The brief given to Special Protection Group personnel guarding him: allow people in the 18 to 35 year bracket in.
Gandhi asked youngsters at Mithilanchal in Bihar’s Darbhanga district, around 120 km northeast of Patna: “Why is Bihar not progressing when Biharis play such a key role in the progress of all other states?”
Speaking to Youth Congress workers at Bela in Darbhanga, he added: “I’m ready to work with you.” And then, to the delight of the crowd: “Treat me also as a Bihari.”