Kodha/Sikti: Congress leader
Rahul Gandhi on Thursday questioned the secular credentials of Bihar
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, saying he cannot claim the high
ground after having partnered with leaders and organisations
following "divisive" ideology.
"What is this? You have partnership (with BJP) and
still afraid of a leader`s visit," he told election rallies at
Kodha and Sikti.
Gandhi was apparently referring to Kumar`s opposition
to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi campaigning in the
state for the upcoming Assembly elections.
The Amethi MP asked how could Nitish Kumar claim he
has secular credentials when he had "partnership" with leaders
and organisations following "divisive" ideology.
He said the Congress wanted to put an end to divisive
politics in the state.
Accusing the JD (U)-BJP and RJD-LJP alliances of
using religion and caste for political gains, he said, "We are
opposed to such partnership. We want justice and development
for all, the poor and the rich, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and
Stating that the Congress was above that brand of
politics, he said that is why the party chose to contest all
the 243 assembly seats on its own in Bihar.
"We know that we will initially have difficulty. It
will take time, but we will continue the struggle for the
development of the state and for a government with greater
participation of youths," Gandhi said.
He also alleged that the benefits of central schemes
like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee
Scheme were not reaching those for whom they were intended in
Bihar because of rampant corruption.
Stating that the Centre has provided assistance of
around Rs one lakh crore to the state, Gandhi said, "It is
unfortunate that benefits of schemes like MNREGA and Rajiv
Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) have failed to
percolate to the poor and needy because of rampant corruption
in their implementation.
"Congress governments have done a lot for development
in states where the party was ruling compared to states ruled
by the NDA."
There was large-scale migration of youths and skilled
labourers looking for jobs from Bihar to Maharashtra, Punjab,
Haryana and Delhi which could be halted if these schemes were
implemented properly, he said.