Poor need pro-poor government, says Rahul in Bihar (Lead)

April 1st, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Buxar (Bihar), April 1 (IANS) The poor need a pro-poor government and it is the Congress that is capable of empowering them, young MP Rahul Gandhi said Wednesday, kicking off the election campaign in Bihar where the party is going it alone.
“The poorest of poor people need a government which catches their hand to lift their socio-economic condition and initiate their empowerment,” the softspoken Gandhi said in chaste Hindi to a big round of applause from hundreds of people, mostly youths, who had come to hear the star campaigner speak.

“If the poor people are not helped by the government for their development, no one will help the poor,” Gandhi said. The Congress has fielded former central minister K.K. Tiwari from Buxar.

Gandhi targeted the state’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Nitish Kumar, saying it was unfortunate that the rich had been included in the below poverty line list while the poor had been left out.

He also accused the state government of failing to distribute relief and rehabilitation among millions of flood victims in the Kosi region. The state was hit by severe floods last year.

“Flood victims have lost everything but have not been provided relief despite assistance from the centre,” Gandhi said.

He listed the achievements of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre in the last five years, naming the rural employment guarantee scheme, the Right to Information Act and the midday meal scheme, among others.

Gandhi later addressed a public meeting in Aurangabad where the party has renominated Nikhil Kumar, a former Delhi police chief and son of former Bihar chief minister S.N. Sinha.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi will also visit the state to campaign in the second week of April, party sources said.

The Congress is contesting the general elections in Bihar by itself after being cold shouldered by allies in the UPA - Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). Bihar has 40 parliamentary seats.

-Indo-Asian News Service


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