The Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday made deep forays into the Bahujan Samaj Party’s bastion - attacking the Mayawati government -calling it anti-Dalit and charging it with pilferage of central funds and not taking care of the poor.
Rahul was in Ambedkar Nagar to flag off the Congress’ ten-yatras to mark its 125 years. But an aggressive Rahul used the occasion to target the Dalit, the poor and the youth. As he attacked the Mayawati government the crowd including those hanging on the poles or standing out of the ground went euphoric.
So, Rahul focused his attacks mostly on the Mayawati government all through his address before a large crowd that continued to swell despite the scorching sun at the airstrip grounds. BSP leaders also held a demonstration against UPA government at a close distance of (about 300 metres) focus remained only on Congress’ yatras. The BSP leaders blamed the Congress for condition of Dalits.
Rahul began to speak only after garlanding the pictures of Mahatama Gandhi and the BSP ideologue BR Ambedkar on the dais. This was probably Rahul’s way of giving a befitting reply to the district administration that had not allowed the garlanding of Ambedkar’s statue at the venue where the BSP leaders including three ministers held demonstration.
Rahul gave a categorical message that he would continue his focus on Uttar Pradesh until he accomplishes the objective of bringing Congress back to power in Uttar Pradesh- changing the political landscape here and bringing development to the state.
“We were slow but steady as we began our work in UP. They used to laugh at us. Even newspapers did not make the right projections. They were surprised to see our performance in the Lok Sabha elections,” said Rahul.
Rahul said the BSP government was not taking care of the welfare the poor despite the claims that the BSP government of the poor. “We send thousands of crore to Uttar Pradesh. These funds do reach Lucknow but do not reach Ambedkar Nagar or other districts,” said Rahul. But when Rahul said he was not aware here these funds were going the crowd shouted “for making garlands.”
But Rahul continued and said there was no shortage of funds in the country. “But how to benefit the poor,” asked Rahul. “We have formulated a number of major schemes for the people’s welfare. The Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) is the biggest employment scheme in the world. But this scheme is nowhere to be seen at the ground level here in Uttar Pradesh,” said Rahul.
“When I go to village and ask people how many of them want jobs. More than half of the villagers raise their hands. But when I ask how many of them have job cards? No one raises hands,” said Rahul. “These job cards remain with village pradhans and do not reach the villagers,” said Rahul.
The BSP government was not interested in implementing the MNREGA in the state, he said. “When we tell the BSP government to implement the scheme the state government tells us that the scheme is not beneficial for the poor,” said Rahul. “We have given a package to Bundelkhand. But there is nothing on the ground,” he said.
Rahul said the UPA government had given important tools like the MNREGA, the Right to Information Act and the Right to Education Act to the State Government. But the State government was not using these tools for the benefit of the people, he said.
Rahul also attacked the Mayawati government for not implementing the Right to Education Act. “The poor want education for their children. They want their children to learn English,” said Rahul, adding, “But the State Government tells us that there is no need for education, health or development in the state.”
Dwelling at length during the policies followed during the non-Congress regimes in the state Rahul said the political parties first resorted to the politics of religion and then to the politics of caste.
“The communal and caste politics has failed in Uttar Pradesh. Now we have to take a way out to give jobs to the youth and bring the state on the path of development,” said Rahul.
“We will have to resort to the politics of the youth to give them jobs,” said Rahul. Some youths in the crowd tried to show black flags to Rahul. But the Congressmen attacked them and pushed them out of the ground.