In a scathing attack on the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that the state government doesn’t let the people of Uttar Pradesh benefit from the welfare funds allocated to it by the Centre.
“Whatever money the Centre sends here, the state government never allows it to reach the people. It never gives the benefit of that money to you,” Gandhi said at a rally in Hamirpur, in the Bundelkhand belt that spreads across Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
This is the second visit of the Congress vice-president to the state in a month.
He had earlier visited Aligarh and Rampur where he criticised the SP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for engineering communal riots in Muzaffarnagar in which 48 people were killed.
Gandhi had said that Uttar Pradesh is being divided communally, and added that his party is the only political outfit that can rescue the state, provided it is elected in 2014.
The Congress leader said that despite the fact that the food security bill will have the maximum impact in UP, the government is refusing to implement it before the 2014 general elections.
“Will people not get hungry before the elections? We have sent food for people in UP, for every member of a family. It is your right and you should fight for it. We will ensure nobody goes hungry in India.”
He also made a pitch for industrialisation of Bundelkhand.
“Youth here has to leave home for education and work. The SP government claims it has generated jobs but where are the people who got the benefit? Lakhs of jobless youth from UP are found in Mumbai and Delhi. Bundelkand can be changed but someone must listen to the voice of the people."
He said the Congress will help make Bundelkhand as developed as Delhi and Mumbai.
“Your voice may not reach Lucknow but it reaches Delhi. In 2009 during the drought, we gave a special package to the region and waived off farmers’ loans. Now the Congress wants to industrialise Bundelkhand,” he added.
The Congress leader said the Congress spoke of development and at the same time took care to empower people, through employment and measures such as RTI.
After Hamirpur, Gandhi will visit Deoria in the eastern part of the state.