Thursday, April 15, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Rahul talks development, Maya sticks to caste

Rahul talks development, Maya sticks to caste

Sanjay Singh Posted online: Thursday , Apr 15, 2010 at 0348 hrs
Ambedkarnagar/Lucknow : The decade's biggest Congress show in Uttar
Pradesh — 10 rath yatras over 403 constituencies for 103 days — was
flagged off on Wednesday with party general secretary Rahul Gandhi's
promise of "politcs of youth, employment and development."
In his 25-minute speech, Gandhi steered clear of any reference to
Chief Minister Mayawati or her memorials. Instead, the focus was on
her government's failure to deliver development and welfare despite
Central assistance.

"There is no crisis of funds," he pointed out. "We have given tools
like MNREGA, RTI, RTE to state governments. But UP does not use the
money properly. Because of this attitude, while other more backward
states have come forward, UP is at the same place."

Laying the blame for migration squarely at the state government's
door, he said: "When we ask the BSP government to implement a scheme
which will benefit the Dalits and poor, they tell us it is hardly
benefiting anyone. When we ask them to ensure proper education of
children, they tell us that the state does not need such education.
But if they do not need these things, then why are people from UP
still moving to places like Mumbai in search of work?" The Centre, he
said, had given a special Bundelkhand package, but there was no
implementation at the ground level. "Money meant for development
reaches Lucknow, but not Ambedkarnagar," he said.

Barely 200 yards away, the BSP organised its protest against the
Women's Reservation Bill, in the process scuttling the Congress plan
to garland the statue of Ambedkar. The statue was hemmed in by BSP
pandals and the district magistrate said he had told the Congress to
garland it after the BSP programme.

While it gave rise to a volley of protests in the Congress camp, in
Lucknow, Mayawati declared that over the years, the Congress, the BJP
and the other parties had ignored Ambedkar because of their "casteist
mentality". "In particular, the role of Congress was despicable. That
is why our government decided to build parks and memorials dedicated
to Ambedkar and other great men who were born in Dalits and backward
communities," she said.

Addressing BSP workers after offering flowers at Ambedkar's statue at
the Bhim Rao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal, she said Ambedkar was
conferred Bharat Ratna in 1990 when a non-Congress government was in
power at the Centre. She said her government would not bow down under
pressure from the Opposition parties and continue to honour such great

Regarding the Women's Reservation Bill — which was the focus of the
BSP's parallel rally in Ambedkarnagar — Mayawati said it was against
the thoughts of Ambedkar. Also, the Bill was unfair to women from
Dalit, backward, minority communities and the poor from the upper
castes as it had no reservation for them.

The Lucknow unit of the party held a demonstration against the Bill on
the Gomti embankment. Later, the BSP issued a statement, saying
Ambedkar wanted women to progress in every field. That is why he tried
to get the Hindu Code Bill passed by the Parliament, but the Congress
betrayed him and Ambedkar had to resign from the post of the Union Law
Minister. They also alleged that the Congress also made unsuccessful
attempts to prevent Ambedkar from being elected to the Constituent
Assembly and later tried to stop his entry into Parliament. In
Ambedkarnagar, her ministers Lalji Verma and Ram Achal Rajbhar blamed
the Congress for the bad condition of Dalits and poor across the
country. They said the only way to ensure justice for these sections
was to make Mayawati the prime minister.


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