Monday, November 14, 2011

As polls near, a big test for Rahul factor

JHUNSI( ALLAHABAD), November 15, 2011

Almost 50 years after he passed away, India\'s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was 'resurrected\' by the Congress in Phulpur, the constituency he represented in the Lok Sabha, with party general secretary Rahul Gandhi invoking the legacy of his great-grandfather and exhorting youth to work for development and progress.

Hitting out at corruption and lack of development under the Bahujan Samaj Party regime in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress general secretary announced that the Food Security Bill, to ensure food for the poor, and an effective Lokpal Bill to fight corruption would be tabled in the coming session of Parliament.

As the Congress prepares for a sterner test ahead — the U.P. Assembly polls in 2012 — a new slogan, "Nehruji ko yaad kartenge, Rahulji ke saath challenge" (We will remember Mr. Nehru and walk along with Rahul), was coined by the party.

It seems to suggest that after trying several political experiments, the time had come for Mr. Gandhi to carry forward Pandit Nehru\'s legacy of secularism, development and Nehruvian socialism.

Addressing a public rally on the Trivenipuram railway grounds in Jhunsi (Phulpur Parliamentary Constituency) — the first public meeting ever to be held in Phulpur — after flagging off the Congress\' mass contact programme to mark the launch of the party election campaign on Monday, Mr. Gandhi slammed the Mayawati government for ignoring the plight of the poor. "While the poor have not progressed in the State in the last 20 years, corruption and 'goondaism\' have increased. The Ministers are in jail and development has come to a standstill."

He asked the youth to stand up against injustice and atrocities. "When I look at the scenario it makes me angry, at times I think that why shouldn\'t I take up your fight from Lucknow. The mindset of the youth has to change."

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