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Friday, 25 November 2011

On Day 2 of UP yatra, Rahul Gandhi targets Mayawati again, says Centre's funds not reaching poor

  On Day 2 of his Uttar Pradesh yatra, Rahul Gandhi once again took on Chief Minister Mayawati. Addressing a rally in Bahraich district, he alleged that the Centre's funds were being siphoned-off in the state. "Centre's funds meant for the poor in the state are not reaching them," he said. He then added that Mayawati "does not bother about" what was happening in her state.

Targeting the UP Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi also said that they have "forgotten about the people after becoming big leaders and they don't feel for them".

"They (Mayawati and Mulayam) have become big leaders. They can travel in helicopters. But they do not feel angry now when they see sufferings. They do not feel anything when farmers' land is taken away. I have learnt many things from Mulayamji. But he does not come to you. His anger (against injustice) is over," he added.

The Congress General Secretary started his Jan Sampark Yatra from Barabanki yesterday, where he explained his controversial remark on Uttar Pradesh migrants "begging for work in other states."

At a rally in Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh a week ago, Mr Gandhi had told the thousands that had gathered that their state was regressing under the leadership of "the mafia" who runs the state. "How long will you beg in Maharashtra (for work)? How long will you work as a labourer in Punjab? It will take only five years and the change will come," he said, asking the crowd to give the Congress "a chance for five years."

The statement drew flak from almost all political quarters including Congress's ally NCP. Explaining his remarks, Mr Gandhi said yesterday, "People sat in studios and criticised me, but I will ask them to speak to the children on the traffic signals. They will tell you that they are from UP."

Emphasising that his party wanted to change Uttar Pradesh for the better, Mr Gandhi said he was angry that the state was lagging behind when other parts of the country were moving ahead at brisk pace.

"People from UP are going to Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi. You drive a taxi in Maharashtra, you build roads and metro in Delhi...our state is now lagging behind. We have to bring it back on track," he said.

Mr Gandhi is on a five-day yatra in UP. He will next visit Shravasti, Siddharth Nagar and Kushinagar and meet party workers. (With PTI inputs)

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