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'Secular politics our agenda'

The politics in Uttar Pradesh in the past two decades has got stuck in the mire of caste and communal politics. People's issues and development has taken a back seat. Rita Bahuguna Joshi writes.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2011 16:18 IST
Rita Bahuguna joshi

The Congress party has completed 125 years glorious years. Since independence we have contested several elections and whether high or low, have always respected the verdict of the people. We feel that strategies are made for war and not for elections. Election should be contested on the basis of ideology, policies and programmes of political parties.

Unfortunately, the politics in Uttar Pradesh in the past two decades has got stuck in the mire of caste and communal politics. People's issues and development has taken a back seat. The fallout has been a serious slide down in the economic status of the state. Today, Uttar Pradesh finds itself at the bottom of the development pyramid. We are next only to Orissa and Bihar in poverty levels.

For short terms gains many political parties have used sentimental issues to come to power. They lack vision and commitment and engage themselves in retaining power on the basis of caste and communal agendas. They amassed wealth through corrupt practices and introduced mafia and criminals into politics in a big way.

The people in Uttar Pradesh are fed up with the self-serving politics of political parties like the BJP, the BSP and the SP.

The Congress has been sincerely standing by the people on the issues affecting their lives. Despite been out of power in Uttar Pradesh for the past two decades, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have ensured that there are no lack of funds from the central government for Uttar Pradesh. An approximate of one-third all the funds, released by the central government for the states for development and social welfare programmes, goes to Uttar Pradesh.

Unfortunately, the government in Uttar Pradesh in the past six years has badly misused the funds, which could have substantially improved the lives of Uttar Pradesh citizens.

In the 2012 elections, the Congress will be focusing on the deplorable state of governance in Uttar Pradesh and how in the past 22 years, the BJP, BSP and Samajwadi party have betrayed the trust of people by engaging in corrupt practices and caste-communal politics.

The law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh will be the biggest issue in the election. Rahulji's dharna in Bhatta-Parsaul villages has brought the farmers' issues into focus. The Congress will continue to focus on the farmers. So the problems of farmers will be a big election issue.

The Samajwadi Party faced a crushing defeat in the 2007 Vidhan Sabha election primarily on the ground of bad law and order situation under their governance. Under the BSP-led government, the situation has become so bad that every single citizen is condemning the chief minister and the state government for apathy and connivance of those in power with criminals.

The Congress has stood up on every single issue of grave crime and forced the government to take appropriate action in those cases. Our sincerity and activism are being appreciated by the people. We feel that our efforts will tilt the poll result in our favour in 2012. The Congress is committed to good governance, to politics of secularism and equitable social order.

We are in the process of finalising our election manifesto in which we will like to win the mandate of the people on the basis of our agenda for growth, development and uplift of the state and its people.

Rita Bahuguna Joshi is the president of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee.