Deoria (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Sept. 6 : Congress vice- president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday reached out to the farming community while cornering the Centre and Samajwadi Party Government for not addressing their concerns despite making tall claims.
Gandhi, who began his 2500 km-long 'Kisan Yatra' as efforts to reach out to the people of Uttar Pradesh which goes to polls next year, promised loan waiver and reduction in power tariff by 50 percent if the Congress is voted to power in the 2017 assembly polls.
"When we were in power, we developed many schemes to help the poor. We introduced MGNREGA, waived off their loans and what not. We have set out on this yatra so as to highlight the condition of farmers," he said "When Modi ji came here, he promised a lot to the farmers.
But since he formed the government, he has completely forgotten his promises. Why don't you waive the farmers' debts? We will through this yatra tell Modi ji about the worries of the farmers," he added.
Continuing his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi alleged that the former was more concerned about industrialists.
"We are not asking you to stop helping them. We are only saying do something for the farmers as well. I asked Modi ji as to why there is so much difference in farmers' rate and market rate, but I didn't get a reply," he added.
Gandhi also used the occasion to target the Samajwadi Party and alleged that the state government was ignoring the plight of the labourers.
"There were 17 sugar mills in Deoria district, but today all are shut. Who is responsible for it? We don't have a government in Delhi or in UP, but we will listen to the farmers," he said.
The 'Deoria to Dilli yatra', which started from Panchlari Kritpura village, was marked by a door-to-door campaign of collecting 'Kisan Mangpatras' (charters of farmers demands), one-to-one interaction with farmers through Khaat (cot) Sabhas, a concept similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Chai par Charcha' during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and roadside meetings.
"Door to door campaign begins from vill Pachladi. Met farmers, (and) collected Kisan Maang Patras outlining their demands," Gandhi's office said in a tweet.
"Kisan Maang Patras being signed in Rudrapur," the tweet added. The Congress vice-president had earlier said his yatra is aimed at helping the poor, farmers and labourers secure their rights.
"My Yatra from Deoria to Delhi starting September 6 - is a campaign to secure the rights of the poor, farmers and labourers in government resources," Gandhi tweeted earlier.