(News) Rahul challenges Mayawati in her Dalit bastion
Rahul challenges Mayawati in her Dalit bastion
Throwing a challenge to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, Congress
general secretary Rahul Gandhi Wednesday accused her of neglecting the welfare
of the poor she claimed to represent. The son of Congress president Sonia Gandhi
also asserted that he was confident of bringing the country’s oldest political
party to power in the state. Visibly impressed by the massive crowd that braved
the scorching 43 degrees to throng his meeting, Gandhi said: “This glorious
state has suffered over the past two decades essentially on account of the
politics of caste and religion.”
Speaking in this town about 180 km from Lucknow, he said amid resounding applause: “I am here to change that politics. What Uttar Pradesh needs is the politics of youth, the politics of development and employment.” “I am here to raise the key issues that affect the masses who remain deprived and downtrodden, simply because their uplift does not figure in the list of priorities of those who are in power here,” he added.
Giving examples of Mayawati’s alleged indifference towards the “real problems” facing the state, Gandhi recalled how the chief minister had not cared to ensure proper implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). He described NREGS “as the only programme in India to provide assured employment for 100 days in a year to the economically weak”.
“Special funds released for the development of the highly backward Bundelkhand region were not put to proper use. When it came to the Right to Education, the BSP government has come up with all kinds o5f excuses for not implementing it,” he said. “I wonder how the chief minister continued to proclaim herself as the messiah of the poor and downtrodden when she seems least interested in schemes and programmes aimed at their well being?” Gandhi, who arrived here in the afternoon, addressed the rally at 1.30 p.m. He left the venue at 2.45 amid slogan shouting by supporters.