Rahul Gandhi to hold padyatra in drought-hit Bundelkhand in UP today

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to undertake a padyatra in drought-hit Bundelkhand region on Saturday when he is likely to hold meetings with farmers. Gandhi, who will arrive in Mahoba district of the region by road from Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, will walk seven kms and hold a meeting in Supa village to interact with the villagers, Congress sources said.

He is also scheduled to hold a meeting with the mahila self-help group at the Supa railway station and later hold a meeting with farmers in Laadpur village, they said. Bundelkhand region, home to 18.3 million people as per the 2011 census, is blighted with drought and unseasonable rains that has destroyed standing winter crops. In the past few years, several farmers have committed suicide due to poor crop production in 13 districts that comprise the region.

The promised compensation by Uttar Pradesh government has not trickled down to those who need them the most. With no money for seeds and no water for irrigation, farmers have gone desperate, local leaders alleged.
With Opposition parties getting active in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh in run up to the 2017 Assembly polls, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has said his government would make necessary efforts to address the issues the area confronts.

After a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Mr Yadav had said Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan recently visited the region to take stock of the developmental scheme and he himself would visit Bundelkhand. “We have taken a decision on the works to be carried out under MNREGA… In coming times, I’ll also visit Bundelkhand. My government will help the region in every possible way,” he said. Over a month back, Mr Gandhi had visited western UP to interact with sugarcane growers hit hard due to failure of sugar mills to give their dues.