“We (when in government) had sent funds for encephalitis treatment and control in Gorakhpur …People are now complaining that the funds being sent have been stopped..On the one hand, Modiji (lays foundation stone of AIIMS) and on the other, funds are stopped,” he said during a two-hour-long roadshow here.
The Congress Vice President, who visited the encephalitis ward at the BRD Medical College here, said while the UPA government had “moved a couple of steps forward” for checking the disease, the Modi government has “retracted two steps” in that direction.
Children continue to die of acute encephalitis syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the area every year, he said.
Attacking the “suit-boot ki sarkar”, Gandhi said, “If he (Modi) wants to run such a government, he can as he is the Prime Minister and we cannot stop him, but if he has waived loans of big industrialists, he will have to do the same with the poor and the farmers.
“You will also have to help the weaker sections…Farmers are dying, you will also have to help them. We have started this yatra for this purpose and will take it to Delhi,” he said.
The Congress leader had on Tuesday kickstarted his party’s election push in Uttar Pradesh, launching a 2,500-km “kisan mahayatra” while accusing Modi of “ignoring” farmers’ problems. He had promised a loan waiver, higher support price and reduction in power tariff, if his party came to power in the state.
46-year-old Gandhi also hit out at Modi over his foreign visits.
“Janata trast hain, Modiji mast hain. Janata ro rahi hai,… Modiji mast hain (people are suffering, Modi is enjoying),” he said, adding that the Prime Minister was busy travelling to the UK, China, Japan and other places.
“I want to remind him that he is the Prime Minister of India, not of America…He should look at the plight of farmers here in Gorakhpur,” he said.
Talking to reporters later, Gandhi said farmers were committing suicide as they continue to face the problems of water, fertiliser, power, loan and MSP.
He said farmers asked him to relieve them of their burden at his ‘khaat sabha’ in Deoria on Tuesday.
“Since Congress is not in power as of now, we cannot help them directly, but can help them through agitations. The main aim of this yatra is to pressurise Modi and his government to heed to the demands of farmers and the poor,” he added.
The Congress leader interacted with the people during the roadshow covering around 15 kms.