Angul(Orissa), May 13 : The UPA Government will never ignore the voice of poor while moving on the path towards growth and development. The voice of poor will always be heard, said Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday.
Addressing employees of NALCO in the town of Angul during a one-day trip to Orissa, Gandhi said he was happy to hear that the public sector undertaking had been granted Navratna status.
The granting of Navratna status allows a government owned entity to take decisions on investments up to Rs.1, 000 crore, or 15 per cent of its net worth, without seeking the government's approval.
The workers had invited Gandhi to thank him for taking up their demand for Navratna status before the Central Government.
"While coming for this rally, I was thinking that rather than thanking me for NALCO getting the Navratna status, some one else should have been thanked. If one has to thank some one for NALCO, the workers who contributed towards the growth of NALCO deserve it. It's their hard work and sweat which got NALCO the status of Navratna," said Gandhi.
"This is my second trip to Orissa, and in the last trip, one thing came out very clearly, that in India there are regions which have enough money, but there are areas which lag behind. Orissa is such a region, which has plenty of mineral resources, but people of Orissa are poor. In Orissa the most backward and poor are our Adivasi bhais and Dalit bhais. If Orissa has to move forward, development needs to come here. Factories like NALCO should come but we should not forget the poor of Orissa. They have a voice and if we are bringing in development, we should listen to them as well," Gandhi added.
The UPA Government will ascertain that public sector companies which are doing well and are getting Navratna status will not be allowed to be touched by any one and will be promoted, he said.
Later in the day, Gandhi participated in two youth conferences in Cuttack, one belonging to the Schedule Castes and the other to the Scheduled Tribes.