At Malvika Steel,Rahul looks forward,talks development

After Chief Minister Mayawati’s criticism of Amethi-Rae Bareli’s closed industrial units,AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi unveiled a plaque on Friday...

Written by Maulshree Seth | Jagdishpur (amethi) | Published:February 28, 2009 2:12 am

After Chief Minister Mayawati’s criticism of Amethi-Rae Bareli’s closed industrial units,AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi unveiled a plaque on Friday,marking the beginning of reconstruction of Malavika Steel after its take-over by Steel Authority of India Limited.

Set up by the late Rajiv Gandhi’s efforts in 1996,the unit had turned sick and closed down in 1998.

Speaking on the occasion,Rahul Gandhi made no mention of Mayawati or the state government. Instead,he spoke of his father’s association with Amethi,and promised that both Amethi and Rae Bareli will be developed into the state’s best districts. The revival of Malavika Steel was the first step in that direction.

The bulk of his speech was about what he,as an MP,had done and was planning to do for the area. Trying to strike a personal chord with the locals,he repeatedly recalled his father and his association with Amethi.

“After my father’s death,I lost the guiding force of my life and so did Amethi. But it is time to regain the ground. Now,the people of Amethi are my guiding force. Together,we will bring about a change and future will see Amethi (Sultanpur) and Rae Bareli as the best districts of Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

He said he had been trying to revive the factory for the last four years.

“I had first come here with my father when I was just 12 years old,” said Rahul. “I remember listening to his speeches,he was a Member of Parliament from here. Those memories revived when I revisited Jagdishpur five years ago. A group of people met me and requested me to revive the factory and on that very day I decided to ensure revival of this factory.”

The SAIL has taken over the factory by paying Rs 200 crore,and will make an investment of Rs 300 crore in the first phase. The plant will become operational by January 2011 and provide employment of around 1,000 people.

Rahul also used the occasion to tell people of what had been done for the area.

“We have ensured construction of 800 km of roads,around 25,000 cataract operations have been done,two lakh women have been associated with our self-help group scheme and they have a Rs 5 crore bank balance,” he said.

As for the future,he said the construction of three 524-km roads by the National Highway Authority of India had been approved and work will soon start on them.

Union Minister for Steel Ramvilas Paswan and Union Minister of State for Steel Jitin Prasada were present on the occasion,and it was Paswan who talked politics,attacking the BJP and Mayawati,but without naming them.

“We have to take everyone along,” said Paswan. “Some people demolished Babari Masjid saying it was constructed by Babar,but will they also demolish the Parliament because it was constructed by foreigners?”

As for Mayawati,he said: “We would have brought a lot more development to the state had there been support from the state government. Instead of uniting for development,there are people who get stomach ache when Rahul visits the houses of Dalits.”

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