Rahul makes maiden speech in Lok Sabha

New Delhi, March 21 | Updated: Mar 22 2005, 05:30am hrs
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi finally broke his silence and made his maiden speech in the Lok Sabha during zero hour on Monday, and was duly congratulated by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

Given his increasingly aggressive comments over the last few months against the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, Mr Gandhis speech, expectedly, targeted the Uttar Pradesh government and the welfare of sugar cane farmers in the state.

Asking the UP government to comply with the Supreme Court direction on paying sugarcane growers their arrears, Mr Gandhi said the state authorities had told the apex court that private sugar mill owners did not owe anything to cane growers. However, he said that the state cane commissioner had said during an interview that arrears to the tune of Rs 517 crore in 2002-03 have not been paid to poor farmers.