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SP, BSP have 'grossly' neglected Muslims: Rahul

Last updated on: January 28, 2012 21:15 IST

SP, BSP have 'grossly' neglected Muslims: Rahul

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Sharat Pradhan in Unnao /Hardoi

Congress' star campaigner Rahul Gandhi on Saturday pointedly blamed both Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati for "gross neglect" of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. Sharat Pradhan reports.

The Congress general secretary who was on a whirlwind tour of a series of state assembly constituencies in Unnao and Hardoi districts of the state, made it quite obvious that this was time for baiting Muslims.

The message was quite evident not only through his utterances, but also by his concentration in Muslim dominated pockets.

However, even as his rallies were well attended, the crowd did not appear to be as responsive as it used to be during Rahul's initial forays into UP. The earlier euphoria and zest was clearly missing in each of the constituencies.

"Ever since we have declared 4.5 per cent quota for the minorities, both Mulayam and Mayawati have been busy complaining that 4.5 per cent reservation 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 criticising us when they themselves did nothing," asked the now clean-shaven Gandhi scion.

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Image: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi


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Claiming 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 per cent of the population."

He added, "And that is what 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 per cent of the population from your agenda."

Accusing SP and BSP of "changing colours" at every election, Rahul hit out at both parties for what he termed as their double standards.

"In 2009, 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 pointed out.

Taking another dig at the SP chief, he said, "It is election time so I would not be surprised if he would even claim to change the colour of the sky.  The Congress does not believe in making scores of promises but we do promise that we will provide a government that works for common man," he said.

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Image: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati

Tags: BSP , Congress , Mulayam

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Repeatedly training his guns at SP and BSP he remarked, "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 "arrogance" and  "apathy" displayed by both these leaders, Rahul lamented, "It was 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."

Very discreetly, Rahul further sought to point out how 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.

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Image: A Bahujan Samaj Party worker walks past statues of elephants, the BSP's electoral symbol, at the party headquarters in Lucknow
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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He however made it loud and clear to tell the cheering crowds, "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."

Drawing the attention of the masses to the rampant corruption and larges scale bungling in centrally funded welfare schemes, Rahul observed, "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 alo#8800 we sent a special package for development of the backward areas of Bundelkhand, but none of it reached the poor target beneficiary."


Image: Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Tags: MNREGA , NRHM , BSP , Delhi

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