Rahul criticises Naidu for ‘neglecting’ agriculture

April 10th, 2009 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Hyderabad, April 10 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday criticised Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu for his pro-corporate policies at the cost of agriculture.
Addressing public meetings as part of the party’s campaign for the next week’s elections to the Lok Sabha and the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly, Gandhi said the goal of his party was to bring a change in the life of the poor.

“As you know, the leader of the opposition here (Naidu) sometime back stated that there is no need for agriculture in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

When he was chief minister, Naidu had pushed for corporates while allegedly ignoring farmers.

Gandhi was addressing a meeting at Mylavaram in Krishna district of coastal Andhra. He later addressed another public meeting at Vyra in Khammam district of Telangana region.

“The opposition is criticising our government here but if you ask people of Andhra Pradesh who has done work here, ask them about irrigation, insurance and micro-finance, they will give you the answer. The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh has done solid work during last five years,” he said.

Poverty remained the focus of his speeches as he resumed campaigning in the state after a one-day break.

“The difference between the thinking of the Congress and the thinking of the opposition is that we believe if India is to move forward everybody has to move forward. The opposition believes that some parts of India can move forward and the rest of India can be left behind,” he said.

“The fundamental difference is that we believe in poor people of this country and we believe that the future of this country will be decided by the poor. We believe that the only difference between the poor and rich of this country is that of opportunity. It has been the ideology of the Congress for the last 60 years. We are going to do everything to give the opportunity to the poor and make sure the country moves forward.”

The young leader sought mandate for the Congress both in the state and at the national level for five more years so that the party can “continue serving the poor and give them the dignity and the future that they deserve”.

He said the Congress-led central government and the party’s government in the state were governments of poor, tribal, Dalits and weaker sections.

Listing out the steps taken by the central government during the last five years, Gandhi said it introduced and implemented the biggest employment scheme in the world.

“We believe in farmers of this country who give blood and sweat for this country. So, we decided and took up the largest loan waiver scheme the country has ever seen and waived loans of Rs.60,000 crore,” he added.

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