Rahul in Bundelkhand to assess drought; to give feedback to PMR

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{image-rahul gandhi 000_16012008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Mahoba/Jhansi, UP, Jan 16: AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today began his two - day Bundelkhand tour to assess the drought situation by directly interacting with the people.''Mr Gandhi is likely to give his feedback to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi for the much hyped special financial package for the region reeling under drought for the last five years,'' said UPCC president Rita Bahuguna Joshi while interacting with villagers at Srinagar township of Mahoba district where till date 29 farmers have committed suicide following the prevailing drought.

Mr Gandhi accompanied by AICC general secretary in-charge of UP Digvijay Singh and Ms Joshi, met the villages and inquired from them about their problems, particularly about the BPL and job cards, midday meal and drought compensation. At Srinagar, Mr Gandhi spent some time with the 25 family members of the farmers who committed suicide and the Congress leaders had to console them when they broke down and charged the UP government with ''criminal neglect.'' During his 20 minute stay, the farmers complained to him about the ignorance of the state government about their problems and urged the Congress to do something for them. They said Mahoba, known for Betal leaves in the country was reeling under crisis and the entire 'paan' industry has collapsed.

Congress UP president Ms Joshi, when wanted to know from SDM Ramshanker Gupta as to why the state government not doing anything for the people, the official said a survey was underway to assess the loss.

The people, who had assembled to hear the Congress leaders, gave a loud applause when Ms Joshi claimed that Rahul Gandhi had come to investigate into the works done by Mayawati government in the area.

Mr Gandhi and his team would also visit Purania in Hamipur district, Madhopura in Banda district and Sikripurvyas in Jalaun district this afternoon. The AICC general secretary would be interacting with the media at Jhansi this evening.

Tomorrow, Mr Gandhi and other leaders will attend the second state coordination committee meeting at Jhansi and after that they will address a public meeting.

UNI

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