Rahul plays Muslim card in UP rally

Badaun: Playing the Muslim card, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi today alleged that minorities were not getting any benefits in Uttar Pradesh and accused the Mayawati government of ignoring their welfare.

"Sachar committee report (on welfare of minorities) was implemented and money for minorities was sent, but has UP benefited. The report is being implemented in other states like Haryana, Delhi and Maharashtra," Rahul said in a rally on the second day of his tour of western UP.

"We fulfill our promises, MGNREGA was launched and Lokpal bill is coming. The state government is not willing to work," he alleged. He alleged that leaders lacked vision and they do not think in the long-term. "In 1980 Rajiv Gandhi talked about computers and people are getting benefited today. Until and unless leaders think long-term UP cannot progress," he said. Rahul said that states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka progressed because Congress governments there had a vision and leaders thought about the future.

"Non-Congress governments think only about today," he said. Alleging loot of central funds in UP, Rahul said, "Rajiv Gandhi used to say that of Rs one only 15 paise reach in people, but in UP not a single paise is reaching." He said that the loss was not that of the Centre or the state government, but that of the people and UP`s future.

"The elephant in Lucknow eats money. This money is not that of the Centre or the state government..it comes from the contribution made by the people in development. We send money for the people, but it does not reach them in UP," he alleged. Gandhi, who is on the second day of his five-day trip in the Samajwadi Party stronghold, alleged Mayawati government was corrupt and the money meant for poor does not reach them. Seeking a five-year stint in power, he said corruption in UP government was affecting the future of the state as no employment opportunity is generated in the state.

"Twenty-two years have gone by. What did you get? Mulayam Singh came. He talked about caste. Then Mayawati came. She also talked about caste. Give Congress five years. We will show that we can transform this state," he said adding a government of the poor people will can change many things.

Gandhi broke the security cordon today and mingled with people on his way back from a madrasa during his five-day visit to western Uttar Pradesh. While coming out of the Madrasa, he broke the security cordon and mingled with people, who had gathered to have a glimpse of him in nearby houses. Gandhi alleged that leaders in UP do not talk about poverty, they only talk about caste and religion. "The leaders don`t say remove poverty, give employment and food to people. They are only concerned on how to plunder," he alleged.

"Mulayam Singh Yadav came to power, talked out a caste and left…Mayawati came, talked about a caste and she will also leave, but what will happen to the state`s development." Rahul said. He said that development took place wherever Congress ran the government. Accusing Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav of playing caste politics, Rahul Gandhi today sought a change in power saying a "government of the poor" by Congress in Uttar Pradesh will change the future of the state.