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Rahul hits back at Mayawati

July 17, 2009 14:18 IST
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All India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Friday took potshots at the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party government in Uttar Pradesh, saying there is place for statues and elephants  but not development, and spoke of the need for Congress to come to power in the state.

On a thanksgiving visit to his constituency Amethi, the first after his victory in the Lok Sabha polls, he avoided any comments on the raging row over his party's state unit chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi's comments against the chief minister.

"There is place for statues and elephants (BSP symbol) but there should also be space for development and electricity," Gandhi said, in an apparent reference to the controversy over erection of memorials for Kanshi Ram and statues of Mayawati in different parts of the state, spending huge sums of public money.

Against the backdrop of protests and police action in his constituency over serious power shortage, he said, "If you want power, you should have a Congress government in Lucknow. In three years, you have to form a Congress government in Lucknow. Then I will be able to respond to questions on power."

"I know there is a power problem.....I met Sushil Kumar Shinde (Union Power Minister). With the (Central) programme, we can install transformers and poles but power is generated by the state government," the Gandhi scion added.

He lamented that the generation of power in the state remained at the dismal level it was 25 years ago. Gandhi said he was aware that unemployment was a big problem and he was working on starting a project in Amethi that would give employment to the locals.

"In the next five years, I will do something to bring up big projects," he promised.

Gandhi spoke of bringing a railway project and national highway for the constituency.

"We want to do more but did not get the requisite land. Till the government in Lucknow does not work for the people of the state, progress will not be possible," he said.

Thanking the people of the constituency for the victory of the Congress and striking a personal chord, he said the relations between him and the people of his constituency were not political but personal.

"Wherever I go......I think about Amethi. I enjoy working with you and I don't consider this as work," he said. 

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