Mayawati always tries to disrupt Congress programmes: Rahul Gandhi (Second Lead)

October 24th, 2008 - 11:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiKanpur, Oct 24 (IANS) Taking a dig at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati after his programme to address students at a state university was first reportedly cancelled, and then allowed, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday said that she “always tries to create hurdles in my programmes” and vowed to defy “such anarchic diktats”. Gandhi visited the Chandra Shekhar Azad Agriculture University (CSAAU) and interacted with the students after his visit was allegedly “cancelled” by the state government.

Gandhi said that it has been a policy of the state chief minister to disrupt the programmes of Congress leaders.

“Despite the government’s order, I made it a point to go there and the chief minister always tries to create hurdles in my programme. I do not know why she always does this and we will make it a point to defy such anarchic diktats,” he told reporters.

Less than a fortnight ago, the Mayawati-led state government had cancelled United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s function to kick off a rail coach factory in her constituency in Rae Bareli. But later it backtracked on the decision and gave the land back to the railways.

Addressing a convention of Dalits and minorities in Kanpur district, Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi said that a majority of the “back benchers” in the government schools of Uttar Pradesh are Dalits and poor and this is the reason they are so backward.

He said: “I make it a point to visit schools whenever I come to UP and am surprised to see that today also the poor and Dalit are offered the last couple of rows in all the class rooms.”

“This situation exists even when the state is headed by a Dalit chief minister who claims to be pro-poor and pro-Dalit,” he added, in an obvious reference to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.

Gandhi also visited a couple of Dalit families after attending a closed door meeting with owners and employees of various tanneries of the district.

“I visited a Dalit cobbler who barely gets 50 paise to stitch a portion of a pair of shoes. I asked him if the state government had done anything for him and he turned a blank face to me,” Gandhi told a crowd of over 10,000 people who had gathered at the Moti Jheel area.

Gandhi also shared a cup of tea at a roadside stall of a Dalit.

He blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for adopting double standards for the residents of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

“The BJP backs its sister concern, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), when it showers atrocities on the natives of UP and Bihar living in Maharashtra. However, during my recent visit to Uttarakhand I was surprised to see how BJP leaders were consoling people and assuring that they are with them,” said Gandhi.

The BJP has no understanding about the country, he added.

Gandhi claimed that most of the political parties in the country are following the policy of divide and rule. “Be it dividing people in the name of religion or caste, or buying votes, the politics of a majority of parties (excluding Congress) is merely for vote bank and not for the development of the people and the country,” he said.

“I would like to assure that it is because of our national interest policies that we will again come to power in the next general elections,” he stated.

Other senior leaders present along with Rahul Gandhi were Shri Prakash Jaiswal, Jitin Prasada, Digvijay Singh, Rajiv Shukla and state Congress leaders.

Leaders of the Dalit community presented an idol of Bhim Rao Ambedkar to Gandhi and assured that the community would support the Congress in the elections.

Uttar Pradesh governor T.V. Rajeswar cancelled his visit to the Chandra Shekhar Azad University after Gandhi was allegedly restricted by the state government to interact with the varsity’s students.

Rajeswar was to participate in the convocation ceremony of the varsity.

The Raj Bhawan said in a press release: “Owing to unavoidable reasons the visit was cancelled.”

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