Dec 092011

Continuing with his tirade against the Mayawati government for corruption, Rahul said the Centre had approved a development package for the parched region but the money was not reaching the cause of digging wells and building infrastructure as intended.

Rahul Gandhi slammed the governments in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for Bundelkhand’s backwardness, saying lack of development in the region was because of diversion of funds from central welfare schemes.

The attack, without naming the UP chief minister, comes after Planning Commissiondeputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s recent visit to Bundelkhand to review implementation of the special package. He had expressed dissatisfaction over the use of development money.

The focus on Bundelkhand is not new for Rahul, having put the region on the centrestage early in his political campaign against Mayawati’s regime and having nudged the Centre to approve a Rs 7,000 crore package for development.

The renewed focus, however, stems from upcoming assembly elections where Congress is seeking a political harvest in the region for its efforts. The presence of Union minister of state for rural development Pradeep Jain on the dais along with Planning Commission member Mihir Shah was evidence of the ruling establishment associating itself with the charge against the BSP chief of neglecting the region.

“Today, poor people are aware. They know what is good or bad for them. The real problem is that government is not reaching you, those in UP and MP specially,” Rahul said at a public hearing of a visiting group from Bundelkhand. The residents narrated their claims of corruption to the gathering.

News Source: The Times of India

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