Bengal’s Left government not working for poor: Rahul Gandhi

April 25th, 2009 - 12:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Kolkata, April 25 (IANS) Asserting that the Left has failed to deliver the benefits of development to the poor in West Bengal, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said here Saturday that the Communist parties do not have the right ideas for growth.
“It is nice for the Left to comment on Mamataji, but the fact is the Left does not have right ideas for growth,” Gandhi said at a press conference, referring to the Left’s remarks that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was “anti-development”.

“I think development is about balance…We have done massive programmes, unprecedented programmes for poor, like NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act). This is one aspect of development. The other aspect is where we get the money for the programmes. The money we got from progressive policies in Delhi. You have to grow the economy and make sure that the poor of the county are benefited and involved,” Gandhi added.

Gandhi said that while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government did the mistake of focussing on liberalisation and forgetting the poor, the Left is making a mistake by going the opposite way.

The Gandhi scion strongly criticised the West Bengal government for failing to deliver the fruits of development to the poor.

“I saw the statistics on NREGA and I was shocked. There are places where lakhs of job cards are being given but only five-six families have jobs. I have seen a better situation in Uttar Pradesh. It (the NREGA scheme) does not seem to be running here.

“Frankly, I was surprised. The Left is going slow on liberalisation so I expected something to be on distribution side. There was nothing going on that side. Nothing on NREGA, Indira Awas (Yojana, a housing programme for poor families). Uttar Pradesh has caste dynamics, Uttar Pradesh has violence…If a government is not able to deliver NREGA in West Bengal it is worse,” said Gandhi.

The Congress leader also said that the doors of the Congress were always open for anybody willing to join the party and it was up to the senior leaders of the party to decide on the post-poll alliance.

“I am not attacking the Left - left, right and centre. I can see schemes that can be run are not being run properly. I am pointing out tremendous amount of wastage. I am questioning poor record of the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) here. If after the elections we end up joining each other, the reality does not change.

“I am nobody to keep the door open for anybody. There are senior people. As the general principle, the door of Congress is always open for anybody who wants to join the party,” he added.

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