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Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Nirmal Khatri kickstarted his padayatra from Deva Sharif in Barabanki district on Sunday while celebrating All India Congress Committee chief Sonia Gandhi's birthday. Addressing a gathering at the Sipahiya village of Barabanki, Khatri blamed both the SP and BSP governments in the state for claiming various schemes run by the Centre as their own.
Khatri said the padayatra was aimed at making the people aware of the various schemes run by the Congress-led central government for the benefit of the poor. He said that the previous BSP government had committed "scams and frauds" with the "Centre's money" and the present Samajwadi Party government was claiming that these schemes were the state's.
Talking to mediapersons later, Khatri blamed the SP government for putting its name on the ambulance scheme run in the state under the National Rural Health Mission, when it was fully funded by the Government of India.
Talking about the issue of increasing the number of subsidised LPG cylinders in the PDS, Khatri said that the government is thinking in that direction and that a decision may be taken after Assembly elections in some states.
Congress MP P L Punia also addressed the gathering and said that after the right to education, employment and information, the Congress government is now going to bring the right to food for the people.
Earlier, Khatri and other party leaders offered chadars at the Deva Sharif Shrine in Barabanki. They walked for about three kilometres, talking to villagers regarding their problems. Over a thousand people, including party workers and villagers, participated in the padayatra. MP Mohsina Kidwai was also present.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the UPCC has planned to organise such padayatras in each district across the state till January 25. The padayatras are to be led by the state party president as well as zonal presidents and vice-presidents of the party.