Dimapur: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said it was in everybody's interest to have a stable and peaceful Nagaland.

It was very unfortunate to learn that Nagaland was moving backward when the country was marching ahead even though a great deal of funds were pouring into the state from the UPA government under various flagship programmes, the Congress leader said at a public meeting.

Altogether 93 percent of the Nagaland's budget was provided by the Center but it was not reaching people due to inefficiency and corruption. "It is your money, it is for your development," he said at the Dimapur stadium during his maiden visit to the state.

Appealing to young people to join the Youth Congress and NSUI, he said, "The young people are reluctant to join politics because of the way on Thursday politics is done in this country, but we have to change this system. And, for that to happen that the youth must join politics to bring inclusive development in this country," Gandhi said, adding, they should be vigilant on how money was spent by the state government.

Referring to poor condition of roads in the state, Gandhi said physical and social infrastructure had to be built.

Earlier, Gandhi held a student interaction session at the Nagaland University at Lumami in Zhunheboto district. He also addressed leaders and members of Youth Congress and NSUI at Town Hall here.

Congress secretary, in-charge of Nagaland, Luzino Falerio said Naga youth were inspired by the young leader's presence.

Recalling his family's special affection for Nagas and the people of northeast since the days of Nehru, Gandhi said late Indira Gandhi used to speak about their life and culture.

"We were told that despite cultural diversities, India can move together as a great nation and can grow from strength to strength," he recalled.

The Congress recognised diversity with the belief that every state had the right to protect and promote its culture and uniqueness, he said.

He said unlike NDA, the UPA government has been endeavouring to empower weaker sections with the policy of inclusive growth backed by suitable programmes.

"The UPA I and II have so far launched 16 flagship programmes to make the development process inclusive. With India's growth story, today there is no dearth of funds. But only problem is governance and we, particularly the youth, have to work hard to change the system to improve the delivery mechanism," he said.

Earlier, welcoming Gandhi, Nagaland Pradesh Congress president S I Jamir said, "With your guidance, the Congress in Nagaland will be able to bring back its past glory in the 2013 Assembly election in the state."

Agencies