Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Monday accused the Left
Front government in West Bengal of siphoning off central funds and
declared that the Marxists would be wiped out in next year's
However, Gandhi kept mum on the Congress alliance with the
Trinamool Congress during a 10-minute speech at a well-attended
party rally in the Sahid Minar maidan here.
Not even once did Gandhi refer to the Trinamool, the second
largest partner of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
government or its leader and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Launching a scathing attack on the Communist Party of
India-Marxist (CPI-M), he said the party was following an obsolete
ideology discarded by the world.
This, he said, was making the state more backward and benefiting
only its cadres.
"Sixty years back when we got independence there was one India,
which was poor. Then progress took place and we moved forward
slowly," he said, on a day’s visit to the city to launch the Youth
Congress membership drive and discuss organisational matters with
Gandhi said now there were two distinctly different India - one
for the rich who had money, power, shining streets, and the other
for the tribals and Dalits, where all amenities including
education and health were non-existent.
"Wherever I go in India, I see this picture. Likewise, there are
two West Bengals. The only difference is that one is the West
Bengal for the CPI-M (leaders and workers) which has money. The
other Bengal is for you, for the poor and the backward," he said.
Alleging that funds sent by the central government for projects
like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) were
not reaching the people, he said: "The money goes to the CPI-M and
then it vanishes.
"And this is happening for 33 years. Money comes from the centre
for Bengal, reaches Kolkata and goes only to the CPI-M," he said
to repeated applause from the audience.
He said the below poverty line (BPL) list prepared in the state
had the names of only CPI-M workers while 45 percent of the poor
did not possess ration cards.
Referring to the end of Communist rule in Russia, Gandhi said:
"This will happen in West Bengal now. The CPI-M also realises
this. The time has come when the CPI-M will be uprooted.
"The question is not whether the CPI-M will be in power in the
state or not. That you (the people) have already decided," he
Ridiculing the CPI-M for following what he called an outdated
ideology, Gandhi referred to his recent visit to China.
"There its Communist leaders asked me what has happened to the
Communists of Bengal? They are still lagging 70-80 years behind."
"There was a time when it used to be said what Bengal thinks
today, India thinks tomorrow. Now what the rest of India does, the
CPI-M government does not even allow you to think (about doing
On the Youth Congress membership drive, he said: "I have come to
give you the Youth Congress, the first democratically elected such
organisation in the country where only those who have base will go
"Friendship, nepotism and family connection will not count. The
organisational elections will be free and fair," he said.
He asserted that the coming days will be full of struggle. "I am
with you. We will win the struggle."
Referring to the Youth Congress membership drives in Uttar Pradesh
and Tamil Nadu, he said: "The Congress is now alive and kicking
and people say whenever elections are held, Congress will come to
"In Tamil Nadu, the Youth Congress membership has gone up from
35,000 to 14.5 lakhs. Dravidian parties are worried. The Congress
is now rejuvenated there," he said.
"The same will happen in Bengal in the coming days," he added.
After the rally got over, Gandhi climbed down the dais, crossed a
barricade and mingled with the people. He shook hands and spoke to
people, giving a torrid time to security personnel.