Mayawati, Mulayam have become insensitive: Rahul


Lucknow : Intensifying his campaign in Uttar Pradesh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Wednesday said Chief Minister Mayawati and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav have become insensitive towards the people of the state.

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“There was a time when the two leaders used to mingle with the masses and vented ire over the sorry state of affairs in the state. But now both of them have lost the anger they had once. They have now become big leaders who fly in helicopters and give no importance to the public of the state and their problems,” Gandhi told a gathering in Bahraich district, some 240 km from Lucknow.

He said that unless the two leaders and other politicians meet the poor and visit their homes, they would not be aware of the issues concerning people.

“The chief minister has created a considerable distance from the public. She personally doesn’t visit villages, share food with the people or even interact with them. Probably owing to all this, she doesn’t know what’s going on in the state,” said Gandhi, referring to his visit to a hospital that had no patients, doctors or staff, but was being decked up just for the “inspection by Mayawati”.

“Likewise, Mulayam Singh Yadav too has stopped undertaking work at the ground level… I have learnt from Mulayam from his visits earlier to the villages… but it’s an altogether different situation now,” he added.

Targeting the SP chief for joining hands with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rebel leader Kalyan Singh, Gandhi said: “He (Mulayam) talks about the welfare of the minority community, but for acquiring power, he did not hesitate in embracing Kalyan Singh in the last Lok Sabha elections.”

Gandhi, who Tuesday embarked upon a five-day mass contact programme ahead of the state assembly polls next year, also alleged that the Mayawati government was siphoning off central funds meant for developmental works.

“Be it MGNREGS (Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) or the Janani Suraksha Yojna or any health schemes sponsored by the central government, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ministers don’t allow the funds to reach the public and pocket them.

“Even the CBI has now initiated an inquiry into the large-scale financial anomalies that also came to the fore through our RTI applications, seeking details of the funds on the health schemes governed by National Rural Health Mission,” he added.

Taking on Mayawati for “denying raising questions over the importance of MGNREGS”, Gandhi said: “Yesterday in a rally, I said she questions the significance of the NREGS. Later, in the evening a statement was issued that the chief minister had never questioned its importance.”

“It appears Mayawati has forgotten her advertisement campaign against NREGS. Even at a rally in 2007 in Lucknow, she publicly said NREGS would not be of any help for the poor,” said Gandhi.

Referring to former state cabinet minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, Gandhi said: “Kushwahaji has feared threat to his life. He is making rounds of Delhi, saying his life is in danger… I want to ask whom he is afraid of? Why his life is in danger?”

Kushwaha was one of the two ministers who were dropped from the Mayawati cabinet in April this year after the killings of two chief medical officers (CMOs). He held the family welfare portfolio.

Calling upon the public to dethrone the BSP government, Gandhi said: “The state government is not at all concerned to solve the problems of the farmers related to their land acquisition… Unlike the Haryana government, the BSP government cannot work for farmers’ welfare.”

“It’s only because the state government accepts money from the builders in lieu of the land it acquires from the farmers. The state government does politics over caste… while it works for 10 percent of the people, it doesn’t care for the remaining 90 percent,” said Gandhi.

He also wondered where the Samajwadi Party (of Mulayam Singh Yadav) was when Mayawati “forcibly acquired land from farmers in Bhatta-Parsaul, Tappal and other parts of the state”.

He said only the Congress could “bring the state back on the track of development” by generating employment for youths.

“You all contribute in development of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and other states, but your own state continues to lag behind even as the rest of the country is marching towards development,” said Gandhi.