“Why is the voice of the backward region not being heard in Lucknow?”
Returning to Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand after more than a year and ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday lashed out at the Akhilesh Yadav government for ignoring the backward region and stressed the need for formation of a Congress government in the State.
Addressing a “Jan Adhikar Dhanyvaad” rally here, he said the Samajwadi Party government was formed in 2012 with a “young Chief Minister” at the helm, yet the benefits of development had not reached Bundelkhand. Youth had to migrate to Mumbai and Delhi in search of livelihood. The SP government promised jobs, but nothing came of it.
If the voice of Bundelkhand could reach Delhi, why was it not being heard in Lucknow? “There is no Congress government in Lucknow; give the party strength and we will change the face of Bundelkhand,” the Amethi MP said, adding he wanted it linked to the “rest of the world and America” through development.
Referring to the demand for a rail line in Raath, Mr. Gandhi said: Sapna chhota hai, bada sapna dekho (Don’t dream for small things, dream big). Even as he assured the gathering that he would take up the demand with the Centre, he said a rail line alone would not bring about a change.
In this context, Mr. Gandhi mentioned the Rs. 3,000-crore Bundelkhand package given to the State by the Centre and yet, he said, the people were deprived of its benefits. He alleged that the package for water and roads had been squandered by the State government. Farmers complained to him that wells were dug but the job was left incomplete, he said.
On the UPA government’s Food Security Bill, the Congress vice-president said henceforth no one would remain hungry as foodgrains would be available cheap throughout India. He chided the BJP and other Opposition parties for opposing the Bill, and assailed the U.P. government for stating the law would not be implemented before the Lok Sabha poll. The people of Bundelkhand needed food security and U.P. would be the biggest beneficiary of the Bill, he said.