Asking the people of Bundelkhand to “dream big”, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi spoke of how the Congress could bring about development like “Rajasthan, Maharastra and Karnataka” in Uttar Pradesh if it came to power.
Addressing a public rally here Wednesday, which, despite best efforts by social group Gulabi Gang and party MPs and MLAs, could not gather a crowd of more than 25,000, Gandhi said: “Jab tak UP mein Congress ki sarkar nahi ayegi, tab tak maza nahi ayega (Unless Congress comes to power in UP, things would not be exciting).”
Gandhi avoided any mention of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who had recently addressed a huge gathering in Jhansi and had dared the Congress vice-president to name the riot victims whom he had claimed to be in touch with the ISI. Instead, Gandhi preferred to target the ruling Samajwadi Party and “its young Chief Minister” (Akhilesh Yadav).
“In 2012, SP came to power but you did not get what was promised. You did not get employment as was promised, did you?” Gandhi asked the crowd.
Without naming Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul said: “There is a young CM here, who could have changed UP. While your voices have reached Delhi, they have failed to reach Lucknow.”
Alleging that the package sent to Bundelkhand from the Centre to the state “disappeared” before they could benefit people, he said: “For the various problems of Bundelkhand, Delhi sent a Rs 3,000-crore package but the state government did not deliver it to you.”
He asked the gathering to see the development in Rajasthan in spite of its “water crisis”. “There is industrialisation and large-scale employment due to Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor. The day Congress comes to power in UP, there will be development similar to Rajasthan, Maharastra and Karnataka,” he said while citing example of how “computer revolution” has changed Bangalore’s economy.
He also reminded people of the 2009 loan waiver where the government waived the farmers’ loan worth Rs 70,000 crore besides underscoring the employment guarantee scheme launched by the UPA.
Gandhi’s rhetorics touched a new height when he said: “You talk of railway connectivity with Delhi but I dream of connectivity with America, with the rest of the world. Your demands are small. Dream big. Ask for industrialisation in Bundelkhand,” he said.
Gandhi also blamed the state government for “not implementing the food scheme”, which, he said, “would have mostly benefitted UP”.
“The SP government says it would implement the scheme after the