Learnt my political lessons from farmers of Amethi: Rahul

Striking a cord with the farmers and people of his constituency, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today gave them the credit for the political lessons that he has learnt.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2012 22:31 IST

Striking a cord with the farmers and people of his constituency, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday gave them the credit for the political lessons that he has learnt.

The Congress general secretary said here that he has returned to his "home" after touring the entire state in the past two months.

"Whatever I have learnt is from my visits to the houses of farmers in Amethi... whatever I know has been learnt in Amethi and Rae Bareli," Rahul said at an election meeting here.

Referring to his extensive tour of the state, Rahul said that he has returned to his home Amethi after criss-crossing the state for two months.

Making a reference to his sister Priyanka Gandhi, who is camping here, Rahul said that she has told him to leave the elections of these two Lok Sabha constituencies to the people and and look after the entire state.

Appealing people to vote for Congress, Rahul said that he wanted a lot for these areas but since 2004 (when he first became MP) his one hand was tied as UP did not have Congress government. "To untie my hand press the button for hand (Congress symbol)", he said.

Stressing on the need for Congress government in UP, he said that once UP develops, Amethi and Rae Bareli would also progress.

Though Priyanka was busy in 'padyatras' and addressing meetings, her children Rehan and Miraya were present in Rahul's meeting.

Since Rahul arrived late for the meeting, the two young siblings spent the time playing marbles near the dais.

Referring to the backwardness and unemployment in Uttar Pradesh, the Nehru-Gandhi family scion said that people from the state have to go to other states and work in agriculture fields as there is a dearth of employment opportunities here.

Training his guns on Mayawati, he alleged that her government is more concerned about the "rich builders" than poor farmers.

"At present, Mayawati is in power. Her government seems to have greater concern for rich builders than for poor farmers. When I visited Bhatta Parsaul, poor farmers told me how their land was acquired and given away to builders without even their getting any prior notice.

"When some of them protested, they were beaten up by police and put behind bars", he said.

"When the UPA government at the Centre launched MNREGA scheme, Mayawati called it a drama. When we brought the Food Security Bill, she said it was useless.

"Why is it that the BJP, the SP and the BSP behave in this fashion? It is because these parties think that the people are fools," the Congress general secretary said.

"Leaders of these parties have never bothered to visit remote villages and meet the poorest of the poor. Had they done so, they would have been able to appreciate the wisdom of the common man.

"I have been to the houses of farmers and artisans during the past seven years of my political career.

"And I have learnt more from them than I did from my teachers at prestigious educational institutions in America and England", Gandhi said, evoking applause from the predominantly rural crowd.

He said while elections are known to usher in change, in the past 22 years, the state has been witness to many elections yet things have remained stagnant.

"I wish to assure you that though we may not ensure that every paisa spent by the government will start reaching you, as UP at present is too full of crooks but you can suddenly look forward to 99 out of 100 rupees reaching you and serving the purpose for which it is allocated," he said.

First Published: Feb 11, 2012 22:29 IST