Priyanka slams BJP, BSP-SP for Bundelkhand's neglect
Keen to make a dent in the parched Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, which goes to the polls on April 29, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is targeting both the BSP-SP alliance and the BJP for the area's backwardness.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is touring the area, has slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre as well as the state for paying no attention to the backward region.
During her campaign in Mahoba, Hamirpur and Jhansi, according to local leaders, her criticism stemmed from the fact that the central and the state governments had shown complete disregard to the earlier plans announced for the development of the region.
According to Congress leaders, the previous UPA government had announced a Rs 7,000 crore package for the Bundelkhand region in 2009 after Rahul Gandhi visited the region in 2008.
He later blamed then UP Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati for failing to pass on the benefits to villagers suffering from water scarcity and lack of jobs. Mayawati retorted by saying the UPA government had not sanctioned sufficient funds.
Later, the Congress slammed the Samajwadi Party government over the issue too when Akhilesh Yadav became Chief Minister in 2012.
Last year, while campaigning for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had criticised then BJP government for ignoring the Bundelkhand region falling in the state.
The UP part of Bundelkhand comprises districts like Lalitpur, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Chitrakoot, Banda, Jalaun and Jhansi. Datia, Panna, Chhatarpur, Tikangarh, Damoh and Sagar fall in Madhya Pradesh.
The entire region has been plagued by lack of development, drought and widespread rural distress for decades, with the previous governments in both states failing to do anything substantial for the area.
Amid such a neglect of the area, the Congress has fielded Shiv Sharan Kushwaha in Jhansi, Brijlal Khabri in Jalaun (reserved), Pritam Lodhi in Hamirpur and B. Kanwar Patel in Banda Lok Sabha constituencies.
Priyanka Gandhi recently criticised the authorities in Banda for sprinkling drinking water from tankers on roads to prepare the area for Prime Minister Modi's visit, while both people and cattle were suffering due to water shortage in the region. "Is he 'chowkidar' or some 'shahanshah' from Delhi," she remarked in Hamirpur, pointing to the wastage of water.IANS