Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday declared that the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh would taste defeat at the hands of his party in the 2012 Assembly elections.
Mr. Gandhi scotched rumours of a tie-up between the Congress and the BSP in the light of the latter's support to the UPA government on the cut motion in Parliament. There would be no understanding between the two parties, he said.
The Amethi MP alleged that dalits were unhappy in the present regime. Whenever he asked them about the functioning of the State government during his visits, they said, “yahan to sarkar nahin hai” (the government is non-functional here), he said.
There would be no compromise on the State's development and youth would emerge as the fulcrum of the impending change, he said. He was ready to be at the vanguard of the struggle to bring about a regime change. “This government will go, but the future of the State is a relatively bigger issue than mere defeat of the BSP.”
Addressing a public meeting at Ahraura in Mirzapur district on Tuesday, his second in the State since the launch of the Congress “sandesh yatras” on April 14, Mr. Gandhi said thousands of crores was given to the State in the form of Central funds. But the money was not put to good use and the benefits of the central measures were not reaching the poor. The State government's record on implementation of welfare schemes and providing power and employment was dismal. The Mayawati regime's stand that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme would not benefit the poor was not right.
The power units in the Mirzapur-Sonebhadra region supplied electricity to the entire State, but the villages here were given barely five to six hours of power supply. Compared to U.P., which had a population of 18 crore, Punjab with a population of just 3 crore was generating more electricity.
Mr. Gandhi said the State people had rejected politics based on religion pursued by the BJP and caste politics pursued by the Samajwadi Party and the BSP. “U.P. of the last 20 years has to change,” he said.
Mr. Gandhi also pointed out that U.P. was the biggest power-bloc in India and if it prospered, the nation would progress.
“U.P. has the power to change the equations in the country, but the first step is to enforce a change in the State.”