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Wednesday 16 November 2011

UP ruled by 'mafia', says Rahul; people of state not beggars, hits back Mayawati
LUCKNOW: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and UP chief minister Mayawati were engaged in another round of war of words on Monday as Rahul launched his party's campaign for the 2012 assembly elections with a scathing attack on Mayawati's government. 

Tearing into BSP government's rule in the state, Rahul said that UP is being ruled by 'mafia'. He accused Mayawati government of siphoning off funds given by centre for implementation of welfare schemes for the poor. 

Hours after Rahul's salvo, Mayawati hit back saying the Congress general secretary was engaging in political theatrics. 

Reacting to Rahul's remark to the youth about begging for jobs in other states, Mayawati said the people of UP were not beggars. 

Earlier in his speech Rahul had exhorted the youth of UP to rise and bring about a change in the state. He said, "Till when you will go begging for jobs in Maharashtra and Punjab... Till when you will work as have potential and talent." 

Rahul explained in detail why a deep sense of anguish overtakes him in UP. He said that there was a time when UP led the country but today it is among most backward states. He said that artisans and labourers from UP work in Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab and other states. These people have helped in development of other states. But the same people can develop UP, if they stop voting on caste and communal line and make development a poll issue. 

Hitting out at BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, he said that the two leaders have come from grassroots. There was a time when they used to feel angry about exploitation of poor. But now they are fighting to attain power and don't think about poor. 

Rahul had recently said that lack of development and poverty in UP makes him angry. In response, UP chief minister and BSP supremo Mayawati had said that Rahul should show his anger to his government at the centre responsible for spiraling inflation and corruption. Maya had also said that Rahul should show his anger in Congress ruled state of Maharashtra where people from UP are being harassed. Mulayam had also mocked at Rahul's statement. 

Rahul's attack on Mayawati and Mulayam is being seen as Gandhi scion's rebuttal. He said that Maya and Mulayam rules are responsible for UP's backwardness. He said these two leaders have criminalised politics and break down of law and order in UP. 

Rahul also gave reply to those who scoffed at his visits and stay in houses of dalits and poor. He said a leader needs to see and experience of miseries of poor. "Unless you don't drink contaminated water poor get and suffer from diarrhoea, sleep under leaking roofs and eat bare minimum, a leader cannot deliver," he said. 

Rahul also said that rampant corruption has rendered useless UPA government's schemes underMahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act and National Rural Health Mission in UP. 

Indicating that he has enough experience and is now ready to take over bigger responsibility in Congress party, Rahul said that he has been working for the poor in UP for last seven years. He said that he has learnt a lot from poor. 

Rahul said in last 22 years, after Congress lost power in UP and the state was ruled by other parties, state has lagged behind in development in comparison to other state despite having tremendous potential. 

Rahul said that centre government had sent a development package for Bundelkhand but all was siphoned by Maya administration. He also accused Maya government of snatching land of poor farmers in the name of acquisition for development but handing them over to builders to reap profits. Farmers are paid pittance and those who protest, like in Bhatta-Parsaul and Tappal, get bullets. 

Rahul said that UP is being ruled by mafia and criminals are being made MPs, MLAs and ministers by ruling parties in last two decades. He said that people will have to wake up and overthrow corrupt and criminal regimes. He said that people should not vote for tainted candidates. 

"The situation in UP can be changed in five years, if right government is voted to power," he added. Rahul said that he will continue to work among poor and visit Lucknow despite criticism of rivals. He said his stay in Lucknow will help party grow.

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