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.

States should reach out to people to tackle naxals: Rahul

On a visit to Naxal-hit Jharkhand, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today said that the state governments should reach out to people to tackle the Maoist menace effectively.

“If you have to combat Naxalism, you should reach out to the people,” Gandhi told a press conference here.

Replying to questions on recent Naxal attacks, he said, “Except for some pockets, the overall situation in India is good ... In states like Orissa and Chhattisgarh the governments are not reaching out to the people.” He added that “The problem is just not here, but everywhere in the world.”

Earlier, the Congress general secretary visited the house of Inspector Francis Induwar, who was beheaded by Maoists ten days back, and sympathised with his children, saying he had lost his father to a suicide bomber.

During his 20-minute visit to the house, Mr. Rahul interacted with the widow of the special branch inspector, Sunita, and her children studying in classes V, VI and VII.

Stating that there were ‘two Hindusthans -- one with basic amenities and opportunities, while the other was poverty-stricken, he told reporters that all development programmes like NREGA should reach to the people.

Accusing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati of opposing NREGA scheme to provide jobs to the rural poor, Mr. Gandhi said, “The UP CM is not interested in NREGA and has termed it as not good. We can’t do much if state governments do not implement the programmes,” he said.

“If state governments implement NREGA, it functions smoothly, if they don’t, then there is corruption in the scheme,” Mr. Gandhi said when told about corruption in the programme.

Stating that the Centre’s efforts were to help the poor, Mr. Gandhi, speaking about the price rise, said state governments also had the responsibility in checking it.

The Congress had been focusing on NREGA as it had benefitted crores of people, he said, adding his party was focussed to uplift the downtrodden.

Asked whether Congressmen were following his agenda of uplifting the poor, he said there were many leaders in Congress who wanted to understand the problems of the people.

The Congress leader is on a two-day visit to Jharkhand in the run-up to the Indian Youth Congress elections.

More In: National | News