Rahul visiting dalit homes for votes: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

April 16th, 2008 - 10:12 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Bhopal, April 16 (IANS) After Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has chosen to attack Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s visits to dalit homes saying it was his “love for votes” that was making the Nehru-Gandhi family scion indulge in “such gimmicks”. A day after the Congress general secretary spent the night Tuesday in a tribal’s hut in drought-affected Taprian village in Tikamgarh, sleeping on a cot and eating dry plums with the family, Chouhan Wednesday said sarcastically that if sleeping in a dalit’s hut for a night could have changed their fortunes, he would have done it himself every night.

“It is not love for dalits but love for votes that has propelled Rahul Gandhi to opt for such gimmicks,” the Bharatiya Janata Party leader told reporters here.

Gandhi had enquired about the drought situation in the area during his conversation with the dalit family, as also about the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), migration of labourers and the functioning of the local administration.

After listening to their woes, the Gandhi scion slept on a cot provided by a dalit.

Gandhi had reached Tikamgarh town Tuesday night at about 9 p.m. via Uttar Pradesh’s Lalitpur and Jhansi districts on an unscheduled visit. He also gave Rs.20,000 to a poor Scheduled Caste woman for her daughter’s wedding and condoled the death of six members of a family, who were allegedly killed in Ginau hills of Jatara village.

Chouhan said that instead of such gestures, the Congress should have provided relief to the drought affected people of Bundelkhand.

“Congress leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Shivraj Patil, have not bothered to visit Bundelkhand despite my several requests. They have also not bothered to send relief for the severely drought affected Bundelkhand region despite the state department demanding a relief package,” Chouhan said.

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