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When will you WAKE UP, Rahul Gandhi asks the people of UP

Last updated on: November 14, 2011 18:51 IST

'When will you wake up? I want an answer'

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Kick-starting the campaign for the much-awaited state assembly elections, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Monday sought to inject some adrenalin into his party by urging the youth to rise to the occasion and snatch power away from the Bahujan Samaj Party.
 
"When will you wake up? I want an answer," he asked the crowd, which responded with reverberating cries of "Rahul tum sangharsh karo; hum tumhare saath hain" (Rahul , you take the lead, we are behind you) .
 
Evidently, his effort to propel the youth into rallying behind the Congress is beginning to pay dividends.

 

"How long will you continue to beg for your livelihood in Maharastra or Punjab? Remember, this will go on till there is development in your state and no change is possible unless you change your mindset and act to effect a change of guard," declared Rahul.

 

Reportage: Sharat Pradhan in Allahabad


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The 'angry young man'

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He was addressing an impressive public rally at the jam-packed railway ground at Phoolpur parliamentary constituency, the former political bastion of his great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru.

 

Nehru's 122th birth anniversary was chosen for the show as a symbolic gesture for Rahul's maiden visit to the constituency.
 
The nearly two-hour long affair was attended by the bulk of UP's top Congress leaders, including several Union ministers, who left no stone unturned to remind the gathering of the "old connections" of the Nehru-Gandhi clan with the region, that now stood in an utter state of decay and neglect.
 
The Gandhi scion's lately acquired posture of an "angry young man" was also on full display as he went on to repeatedly emphasise on the factors that made him unhappy.


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'A common man's government has remained a dream'

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"What makes me sad and angry is the utter neglect and exclusion of the poor from the development process in Uttar Pradesh, where things are just as they were two decades ago when the Congress ruled here," he said.
 
Hailing the rich potential of the people of UP, he said, "No one can use Uttar Pradesh other than the people of this very state". 

And in an obvious bid to urge the people to support the Congress in the forthcoming polls, he added, "A common man's government has remained a distant dream for the people of UP for a long time. I can assure you that the day you elect a government represented truly by the common man, this state would be a different place."
 
Lamenting the poor state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh , for which he sought to pointedly blame the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party , Rahul also took the opportunity to remind people, "There was a time when UP used to show the way to the rest of the country."


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'You cannot understand the meaning of poverty'

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While referring to Phoolpur as the first political battleground of his great-grandfather, Rahul went on to add, "It was from here that Pandit Nehru set the pace for the development of the whole country".
 
As if to give an explanation for BSP president Mayawati's oft-repeated sarcasm about his forays into poor Dalit homes, the Congress leader said, "You cannot understand the meaning of poverty unless you mingle with the poor and share a meal with them and drink the water they draw from their unhygienic wells."
 
He further lambasted Mayawati for the rampant corruption in the state, which he felt, "was visible in the large scale blatant pilferage of funds meant for development."


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'Rahulji's visit has infused a new life into party men'

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He said, "Even to lodge a FIR with the police -- whether it is about a simple crime or a heinous offence like rape -- you cannot do it without bribing a policeman in UP."
 
In honour of Rahul's visit, Allahabad had been plastered with posters, banners and buntings of Rahul Gandhi and other prominent Congress leaders.

 

While Nehru figured quite prominently on all of them and Sonia too remained as an inset, there was no place for Rajiv Gandhi or Indira Gandhi on the posters.
 
UP Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, whose untiring effort was cited as the reason behind the success of the rally, hails from Allahabad.

 

"I am glad that Rahulji's visit has infused a new life into party-men and we are in for a major revival in the state," she claimed


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