Lucknow: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi came in for sharp criticism on Tuesday for saying that poverty was a "state of mind".
Political leaders here said the statement made in Allahabad showed how much the Gandhi scion was cut off from the ground reality.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Uttar Pradesh spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said Gandhi`s statement smacked of arrogance.
"This is not only sad but also makes mockery of the poor," Pathak told a news agency.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui said the Congress leader was ignorant and did not know the ground situation.
"He comes from a billionaire family and many generations in the Gandhi Nehru family have not seen poverty even from a distance. So they cannot be blamed for their poor knowledge," he said.
Speaking at a discourse on `Culture, Deepening Democracy and Most Marginalised Communities`, organised by social scientist Badri Narayan Monday, Gandhi had said that poverty was a state of mind.
"Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty," Gandhi was quoted as saying by the organisers.
Going further, Gandhi cited the example of a poor woman in Amethi who took control of her life, both financially and socially, by getting associated with a self-help group, Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana.