Rahul Gandhi launches campaign for Congress in Mizoram

November 21st, 2008 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghAizawl, Nov 21 (IANS) Congress party general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday accused the Mizo National Front (MNF) government of siphoning off central projects funds in Mizoram.”The MNF-led Mizoram government misutilised millions of central funds meant for various schemes and projects, including NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), water supply besides central assistance for controlling rodents,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi was on a daylong visit to the poll-bound northeastern state of Mizoram and addressed three public rallies in capital Aizawl, Serchhip and Saithal in western Mizoram.

“The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the centre would never allow Mizos to go hungry and would do everything to prevent them from starvation,” Gandhi said while referring to the recent devastation of crops by rodents following bamboo flowering.

Over half a million people of the mountainous state are gripped by a famine-like situation following the flowering of bamboo and subsequent increase in rodent numbers. Rodents multiply rapidly after eating the protein-rich seeds that appear soon after bamboo flowers.

“The MNF government has failed to tackle the famine despite huge central funds allocated to deal with the crisis,” the Congress leader said.

“If the central funds were properly utilised, the famine situation in the rural areas would not have happened,” he added.

Accompanied by the Mizoram Pradesh Congress president Lalthanhawla, Gandhi urged the people to vote for the Congress for allround development of the state.

Before returning to New Delhi, the Congress leader told reporters that the central government has allocated Rs.1.25 billion to tackle the famine.

“Despite the adequate flow of funds to the state, hunger and shortage of food remain in vast parts of the northeastern state,” Gandhi added.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to visit Mizoram Nov 25 and Congress President Sonia Gandhi Nov 28 to drum up support for the party.

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