Unnao/Hardoi (Uttar Pradesh), (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Saturday blamed both Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati for “gross neglect” of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress general secretary who was on a whirlwind tour of a series of state assembly constituencies in Unnao and Hardoi districts, adjacent to Lucknow, projected his party’s efforts for the welfare of the community, especially stopping in Muslim-dominated pockets.
“Ever since we have declared 4.5 percent quota for the minorities, both Mulayam and Mayawati have been busy complaining that 4.5 percent was insufficient. But I would like to ask them why they never thought of offering higher quota while they were chief ministers of the state so many times. Isn’t it ironical that both the leaders are now criticizing us when they themselves did nothing,” he asked.
Noting that Congress always believed in inclusive policies, he said: “While the Congress has always believed in including of all sections of society in all our schemes, the BSP and SP work for only 10 percent of the population.
“That explains why UP has failed to make any progress over the past 22 years since Congress has been out of power. After all you cannot ensure comprehensive growth of the state by excluding 90 percent of the population from your agenda,” he said.
He hit out at both the SP and BSP for their “double standards”.
“In 2009, the SP had said that they were against the use of computers and English even though Mulayam’s own son worked on computers and spoke English. And today the party has promised in its manifesto to give free laptops to students,” he said.
“Remember, you voted for the cycle and Mulayam punctured your hopes; then you voted for the elephant and he ate up all the money that was sent by the centre for your well-being.”
Lamenting over the duo’s “arrogance” and “apathy”, Gandhi said: “It is a shame that these leaders were seen touring the state only during elections, when they come, make tall promises and deliver loud speeches, only to shut their doors on the common people once they have got installed as chief ministers.”
He said he had adopted a completely contrasting approach by reaching out to the common man at the grassroots level.
“Mayawati and Mulayam do not care to meet the common man or to understand his problems. They did not go to Bhatta Parsaul, they did not go to Bundelkhand. They come to you only during elections and when I reach out to all, they ridicule me,” he said.
“But I will not stop meeting you because I learn a lot from you – something that I do not learn during meetings with top officials in Delhi. I learnt about your problems from you and we launched MNREGA that gives you employment at your own home. And now we have got the Food Security bill to ensures that no one goes hungry,” he said.
He sought to draw people’s attention of the masses to the rampant corruption and large-scale bungling in centrally funded welfare schemes.
“The union government has been sending funds to run schemes like MNREGA and NRHM. In fact, a huge funding of Rs.10,000 crore was sent for NRHM alone but bulk of the money was pocketed away by two or three ministers alone. We sent a special package for development of the backward areas of Bundelkhand , but none of it reached the poor target beneficiary,” he said.