LAUNCHING HER party’s election campaign in the State, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today gave a ‘do or die’ call to party workers to regain Congress’ lost glory in the State.
All through her address at the “Nav Nirman” rally at the historic Phoolbagh ground, she attacked the Mulayam government. The government, she said, was resorting to caste politics and playing the game of “vinash’ instead of working for ‘vikas’ of UP. “The government is meant for all. But unfortunately, it is working for filling the pockets of those at the helm. Even the leftovers are being given to selected people only,” she said adding criminals were ruling the roost in the State. “Is it Samajwad,” she asked.
This was for the first time in recent years that Sonia’s address remained mostly focused on Uttar Pradesh and against the Yadav government, which, she said, was responsible for pilferage of Central funds (largest ever sanctioned to UP, according to her) meant for the development of the State.
“Where have all the funds gone,” she asked. She also asked the people to ask the same question from the Mulayam government. “The people would not forgive those who do not work for people’s welfare,” she said. Significantly, the ‘Nav Niman’ rally brought Rahul Gandhi a bit closer to the centre-stage of the UP politics with the young MP deciding to venture out of Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies.
Reading out a written speech, Rahul told the youth that the “unemployment allowance’ being disbursed in the state was merely an election gimmick of the Mulayam government. “Youth today is not in need of unemployment allowance.
They need employment,” said Rahul adding the disbursement of unemployment allowance was leading to a sense of insecurity among them. Recalling days of his late father, Rahul said Rajiv Gandhi had always emphasised on the importance of remaining united. The division in the society was the State’s main problem, he said adding even politics here had taken the same direction as the government too focused only on a section of the society.
In her address, Sonia stressed upon the need to “save the state from the Mulayam rule” and begin its reconstruction. “It has been proved beyond doubt that the Mulayam government could do no good to UP,” she said.
In an obvious attempt to salvage Congress’ lost minority vote bank, Sonia said no one should indulge in any politics on the issues concerning terrorism. No fingers should be pointed at any community merely on the basis of doubts, she said.
The local Congressmen presented a bow and an arrow to Sonia Gandhi, who obviously tried to aim it at her adversaries inviting loud applause from the audience. Rahul Gandhi was given a mace amidst slogans of “Jai Bajran Bali’ and Rahul Gandhi zindabad.
Sonia also announced that out of 25 textile parks, six were coming up in Uttar Pradesh. The UPA led government had worked out a 15-point programme for the welfare of the minorities, she said.
Dwelling at the achievements of the UPA government, Sonia said efforts had been made to bring the prices of essential commodities under control. Sonia blamed the NDA government for what she called amending the laws that to the present inflation. Sonia said though the prices of diesel and petrol were linked to international prices, the UPA government had not increased the prices of LPG and kerosene oil. She did not spare the Mulayam government and said the State Government here had not brought down the trade tax on petrol and diesel as had been done by the Congress led governments in other states.