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Politicians blast Rahul Gandhi for his 'poverty a state of mind' remark

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi came in for sharp criticism on Tuesday for saying that poverty was a "state of mind".

Political leaders said the statement made in Allahabad showed how much the Gandhi scion was cut off from the ground reality.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Uttar Pradesh spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said Gandhi's statement smacked of arrogance.

"This is not only sad but also makes mockery of the poor," Pathak said.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui said the Congress leader was ignorant and did not know the ground situation.

"He comes from a billionaire family and many generations in the Gandhi Nehru family have not seen poverty even from a distance. So they cannot be blamed for their poor knowledge," he said.

Rahul Gandhi
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi stirs controversy by claiming that poverty is just a state of mind. File Pic/AFP

Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal also flayed the young Gandhi and said the Congress vice president was yet to understand India and its people.

"The statement itself was a reflection of the mindset of Rahul who is yet to understand India and its people," the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister said in a statement in Chandigarh.

Badal said underprivileged section of the society also have aspirations and want to progress in life.

"It is surprising that Rahul does not understand this sentiment and is not aware that it was the Gandhi family which had trapped the nation in a vicious circle of poverty, corruption and economic uncertainty," Badal said.

He alleged that the country is still facing poverty because of corrupt practices followed by Congress party since Independence.

Participating in a discourse in Allahabad yesterday, Rahul had said, "Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty."

In this context, Gandhi had cited the example of a poor woman in Amethi who took control of her life, both financially and socially, by getting associated with a self-help group, Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana.

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