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Updated: October 15, 2009 11:56 IST

Arunachal Pradesh very much part of India: Rahul

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AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi addressing the media at Dharamshala. File Photo: PTI
AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi addressing the media at Dharamshala. File Photo: PTI

Amid China’s objection to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the state is very much part of India.

“Arunachal Pradesh is an Indian state, Tamil Nadu is an Indian state, Jharkhand is an Indian state. My attitude towards all the states is the same and it will not be changed.

For me Arunachal Pradesh is like any other state. It doesn’t make any difference,” he told reporters here.

He was asked how he would strengthen the Youth Congress in Arunachal when China was raising objections to the Prime Minister’s visit there.

Gandhi did not reply to another question on how ties with China would improve when Beijing was raising such an objection.

IANS report adds:

NREGA will work only when states intend it to: Rahul Gandhi

The United Progressive Alliance government’s job guarantee programme under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) may be pro-poor but will work only if state governments implement it well, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said here Thursday.

“In Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam and many other states it is implemented well and there are others where it’s not. Therefore there is no chance of corruption eroding the scheme if the state government intends to implement it well,” Mr. Gandhi, who is here on a two-day visit, said at a press conference.

“The central government designs programmes and sends money and can put pressure on the state governments up to a certain extent. If the state government is not interested then we can’t do much,” he said.

On the question of price rise, Gandhi said it was the state government’s responsibility.

Reiterating that the government’s aim had always been to help the poor, Gandhi said: “In all the states where the Congress is in power, the focus is on the poor. Whether it’s the mid-day meal scheme in schools, the Right to Information Act, NREGA or the universal ID programme, our focus is on the common man.”

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