The Congress general secretary said that the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] was responsible for corruption in the state and flayed them for pilfering funds sent by the Centre. Sharat Pradhan reports
"Even though this state was ruled by a women chief minister, there was no one to hear the voice of women," he lamented, while addressing a pubic rally in Badlapur, while campaigning across parts of eastern UP where polling is due on February 15 in the current seven-phased UP state assembly election.
"With a view to ensure participation of women right down to the grassroots level, the Congress party made it a point to give reservation to women in panchayats, but that was not being implemented in the true spirit in this state," he added.
Citing a glaring example of injustice against women in UP, Rahul claimed, "I was told by an old women how her agricultural land was forcible acquired for some builders. When the builder demanded immediate vacation of the plot, the woman went with a complaint to the local police station. The cops not only refused to intervene but also went to the extent of setting fire to the standing crop on the poor woman's land."
While pointing out that he was not there to make promises like other political parties, he said, "When one has clear intentions he need not make promises. I have not come here to make promises but to take UP on the path of change and I am sure that we will win this battle."
He said, "Ask BSP supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav [ Images ] whether they cared to visit any village in the last five years. But when they go about addressing election rallies, they are busy making tall promises. I would like to know why they could not do what they are promising now."
Rahul Gandhi cited an example of Mahatma Gandhi's [ Images ] speech in Hindi to a Tamil speaking audience in Madras. "While watching Mahatma Gandhi addressing a gathering in Tamil Nadu in Hindi, when a journalist asked a man whether he was able to understand anything, pat came the reply 'true, I do not understand Hindi at all but I am sure about one thing that whatever Gandhi is saying is right and I have faith in him'."
Flaying successive non-Congress governments in Uttar Pradesh where Congress has been out of power for 22 years, he said, "I am committed to the cause of UP's development and I will not budge from here. Let me tell you that when I choose to take up something, I do not leave it halfway."
He went on to add, "Even if only one person form UP stands by me, I will continue to fight for you because you have been duped for 22 years."
He pointedly blamed the ruling BSP, Samajwadi Party as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party for neglecting UP and for "not doing anything to build the future of the state's youth". He also accused all the three parties for fuelling corruption in the state and flayed them for "pilfering" funds sent by the Centre for various development tasks.
Later during the day, Rahul addressed another meeting in Zafrabad town of Jaunpur district and followed by one in Kaushambhi and two meetings in Allahabad.