Rahul Gandhi will remain associated with Uttar Pradesh till the state’s past glory is restored and the Congress comes back to power. He appealed to the youth to take upon itself the responsibility to pull it out from the cycle of corruption, criminalisation and communal discord.
Young men from Uttar Pradesh are making their fortunes in Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra, but are unable to get things moving in their own states. “All this has to change and the youth — who comprise nearly 60 per cent of the state’s population – have to lead the process of change.”
Addressing a crowded rally on Jama Masjid ground, he said, “I will stand by you shoulder-to-shoulder. I belong to a family firm in decision-making. Once it decides to do something, it does not rest till the task is accomplished,” he said.
Rahul, accompanied by party leaders Salman Khurshid and Captain Satish Sharma, was brief but pointed in his speech. The crowd broke through the barriers when Rahul climbed down from the stage. “This boy will do something worthwhile,” 80-year-old Hamid Mian said. Time was, Rahul said, when Uttar Pradesh was foremost among states in every sphere referring to its contribution to freedom movement and the “period of development, peace and stability” during the Congress regime.
“Over the past 15 years, not much work has been done. Schools, hospitals and the power situation is pathetic,” he said.
Priyanka’s victory mission
Priyanka Gandhi Vadera had her task cut out — to make disgruntled cadre fall in line. And she managed to do so on Day One of her three-day “mission victory” to twin constituencies of her brother Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi.
“This is not a question of candidates. The Congress is contesting the poll. So you will have to co-operate,” Priyanka told party workers. She was responding to a Congress worker from Salon, who said the candidate Shiv Balak Pasi was not popular.
“Nominations cannot be changed at this stage,” Priyanka said. She said everybody would have to cooperate or face action.