Bareilly, Feb 27: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today had a dig at L K Advani's nation-wide yatra on the issue of corruption, saying he failed to see scams in Uttar Pradesh and BJP-ruled states like Uttarakhand and Karnataka.
“Though the BJP leader toured the whole country on the issue of corruption, he did not see scams in UP and states like Uttarakhand and Karnataka, ruled by his party,” Rahul said at an election meeting here.
He also charged BJP MPs with not pressing the right button when the Lokpal Bill was put to vote in Parliament.
“At that time, BJP leaders were laughing, saying that the Lokpal Bill was not their dream. They did not think of the people. But the Congress always keeps the common man in mind,” he said.
Stressing that the Congress launched MNREGA so that everyone could get employment, he said Congress brought the loan waiver scheme worth Rs 60,000 crore for farmers.
“Then for the weavers, we brought a loan waiver scheme, gave them subsidy on thread and also a weaver credit card, apart from easy loan,” he said.
Gandhi said the biggest problem in Uttar Pradesh was that its leaders did not reach out to the people. “They think they know everything whereas the truth is that the common man has more knowledge than the leaders. Have you ever seen Mayawati or Mulayam Singh in your village? Do they ever talk to you?” he asked.
Now that elections are on, the SP chief is promising free electricity and says he will turn Bundelkhand into Israel. “He has been chief minister thrice - why didn't he do it then?” he posed.
Rahul said when the people of Bundelkhand came during the drought and recounted their problems, the Prime Minister immediately provided a package but the money did not reach them because the ‘elephant' - symbol of ruling BSP - in Lucknow gobbled it all.
Taking pot shots at the SP chief, Rahul asked as to what he had done for the Muslims when he was the chief minister three times in the last two decades.
On the other hand, he said, the Congress set up the Sachchar committee and implemented its recommendations. The Centre sent money for scholarships for children belonging to minority communities but the money went missing in UP even though it reached the minorities in Kerala, Assam and Andhra Pradesh, he said.
Similarly, he said, when the Congress gave 4.5 per cent reservation to backward Muslims, both Mulayam Singh and Mayawati were critical.
“Mulayam Singh termed it as insufficient but why did he not give reservation when he was chief minister. Mayawati said she had written a letter to Prime Minister but she is chief minister and could have announced reservation in UP,” Rahul said.
“In 2009, the Samajwadi Party had embraced Kalyan Singh but the Congress has never compromised for the sake of votes. The Congress is ready to compromise only for the common man,” Rahul said adding that the Congress has changed Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Assam, Maharashtra and Haryana, and now it was the turn of Uttar Pradesh.
He appealed to the people to vote for Congress and bring UP on the path of development.
At another election meeting in Rampur, Rahul accused the SP chief of doing nothing for the Muslim community despite being in power in the state thrice.
On the other hand, he said, the Congress government proposed to give 4.5 per cent reservation to the Muslims.
“Now it is for the community to judge which political party was friendly to it,” Rahul said.
The Congress general secretary urged the electorate to compare developmental works carried out in Congress-ruled states with those in UP.
He said the condition prevailing in Uttar Pradesh was “very poor” and attributed it to the non-Congress parties ruling the state during last two decades.
“You will find dogs roaming freely in hospitals but doctors unavailable to attend to patients,” the Congress leader lamented.
He urged the electorate to teach the opposition a lesson in the polls by making them bite the dust.