Unite and fight for your rights, Rahul tells youth


Ballia (Uttar Pradesh) : Join hands and fight for your rights like the Bhatta-Parsaul farmers for the development of Uttar Pradesh, is the message Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday gave to youth here, adding that united they could even “topple the state government”.

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“It was not 50,000 farmers… Merely 100-200 farmers fought for their rights in Bhatta-Parsaul and Tappal, and they changed the national land acquisition policy. Similarly, you all need to get united and fight for your rights. It would be only then your state will witness progress and development,” Gandhi told a gathering of Youth Congress activists in Ballia, some 300 km from Lucknow.

“If only 5-10 youth inside this room join hands, they can achieve big targets, and can even topple the state government,” he added.

Expressing concern over the “poor development” of Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi said, “Despite representing the most populous state, you are lagging behind…There is no one to look after you.”

“The onus is on the people of Uttar Pradesh, particularly youth, who should start looking after themselves and the state. Irrespective of their caste and creed, youths need to come forward if they want to see all-round development of the state,” Gandhi said.

“States like Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana are ahead of Uttar Pradesh…Schools and colleges are being set up in such states, but where will the children of the poor people of Uttar Pradesh go?…What will happen to the poor people of the state?…Until the youths do not think about the state, Uttar Pradesh will continue to lag behind,” he added.

Hitting out at the Mayawati-led government over the “lawlessness” in the state, Gandhi said, “It’s surprising and shocking that chief medical Officers (CMOs) are being killed…People are being eliminated inside the jail…It’s happening just because the youth of Uttar Pradesh are still to get united for fighting for their rights and development of the state.”

Earlier in the day, Gandhi interacted with the weavers community in Azamgarh, some 300 km from Lucknow, to know about their problems, the party said.

Assuring the weavers all possible help, Gandhi invited their delegation to Delhi to give suggestions for improving their living conditions, Congress spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap Singh told reporters in Azamgarh.

“Rahul Gandhi gave the invitation while holding a `chaupal’ (informal meeting) of weavers in the Neweda village. He will now arrange a meeting of weavers with those involved in finalising the draft of the Rs.3,000 crore special package earmarked for the weavers in the last union budget,” Akhilesh Pratap Singh said.

The informal meeting continued for over an hour, he added.

Gandhi reached Azamgarh on an unscheduled visit while he was on his way to Ballia to address Youth Congress activists.

Gandhi Thursday started his two-day tour to eastern Uttar Pradesh to promote the Youth Congress membership drive.