Cong workers jump before Rahul's cavalcade over ticket issue

The incident took place when the Congress general secretary, who is on a five-day tour of the state, was leaving the airport for Barabanki, party sources said.

However, alert security men set them aside, they said.

Later, talking to reporters, one of the protesters Mehndi Hasan, said they wanted to meet Rahul to protest denial of ticket to Subodh Srivastava from Lucknow central seat.

He said the ticket was given to Fakhir Siddiqui, who had recently joined Congress after he was sacked from BSP. Senior leaders had assured them that their meeting with Rahul would be fixed but it was not done, he claimed.

During the tour, Rahul will visit Barabanki, Bahraich, Shravasti, Siddharth Nagar and Kushinagar and meet party workers.

Rahul, who is elected to Lok Sabha from Amethi, alleged that all the governments UP had got in the past twenty years were against the people. "In the past twenty years, UP has had governments of BJP, BSP and SP but all of them were against the people," he said.

"The country does not lack money but the problem is that it does not reach the poor," he said.

"What is happening in UP is that in the past twenty years your money has not been reaching you. Either it gets stuck in Lucknow or it is held back by bureaucrats," he said.

Rahul, who is on a five-day tour of eastern UP, will also visit Bahraich, Shravasti, Siddharth Nagar and Kushinagar and meet party workers.

In his speech, Rahul also targeted BSP leader Mayawati and her government, saying,
"When we started MNREGA, the UP Chief Minister said that there was no need for it.

"In the entire country if you ask which is the government scheme from which you have benefitted the most, people say it is MNREGA. The UP Chief Minister says it is of no benefit."

The 41-year-old Congress MP alleged, "It is in UP that there is no benefit from MNREGA because the money is pocketed by contractors and ministers."

He further alleged that due to corruption at the state level, funds released by the Centre through its schemes were not reaching the people.

"We had started the 'Janani suraksha yojna' in which every woman who gives birth is given Rs 1,400. But, in UP, it is the officers who pocket the money," Rahul said.

Rahul said that central funds for weavers would be directly sent to their accounts by the Union government to ensure that they reach the people they are intended for.

"We changed the system and now the money will directly reach in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries from a package Rs 6,000 crore, besides a waiver of Rs 3,000 crore loan," he said.

Making development his poll plank, Gandhi said there should be a change of government in Uttar Pradesh. "I want UP to develop. Roads should be constructed, industry should arrive, there should be water and electricity," he said.

"We can make a big start in five years and in ten years, we can take Uttar Pradesh to the first place. For the past twenty years, the country has been looking at Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi but not at you. This has to be changed and only you can do it," he said.

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