Rahul begins Andhra padyatra, slams PM Modi over farmers' plight
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday started his 'padyatra' in Andhra Pradesh's drought-hit Anantapur district to highlight the issues faced by farmers and women self-help groups.
The Congress vice-president, who has reached out to farmers during similar visits and foot marches in states like Punjab, Maharashtra, Telangana and more recently Rajasthan, would kick off his 'padyatra' from Obuladevara Cheruvu village and interact with farmers, weavers and students.
He set off from Obuladevara Cheruvu where former prime minister and his grandmother Indira Gandhi had addressed a meeting in 1979.
"The Congress party took a stand in the Parliament and we decided that we won't let the PM take away the land of farmers of this country," Gandhi was quoted as saying on his Twitter page.
"The way PM wanted to take away farmers' land, he wants to take away special category status and Polavaram project from the people of this state," he added.
He also hit out at chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and accused his Telegu Desam Party and the YSR Congress of not doing enough.
"I can understand the intentions of the PM, but I don't understand the intentions of the CM of this state and the other party. Why are these two parties not fighting for the special status? Why are these two parties not fighting for Polavaram?
"Why are they scared to ask what is due to Andhra? What is about their past that is making them sell your future?"
He promised the people of the state that his party will fight for a special category status for Andhra Pradesh and completion of Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project.
"Unlike the other two parties of the state, we are not going to compromise with your future. AP needs Polavaram and special category status to become the No 1 state in the country. Congress Party will fight for that," he added.
Ruling TDP and YSR Congress have hit out at Gandhi blaming his party for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the "gross injustice" to Seemandhra.
The Congress vice-president will also hold meetings with NREGA workers, migrant labourers at different villages in Anantapur, which is among the districts that receive low rainfall in the country. He is also scheduled to meet the family of farmer Harinath Reddy who allegedly committed suicide.
After the 'padyatra' ends, he would receive representations from people and also talk to senior Congress leaders at Puttaparti, the spiritual town of late Satya Sai Baba.
He would visit the 'Maha Samadhi' of Satya Sai Baba at Puttaparti before wrapping up his visit, according to the tour schedule released by the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee.
Rahul undertook a 'padyatra' in Telangana in May this year during which he hit out at the NDA government at the Centre and TRS government in Telangana on farmers' and land issues.