Mayawati issues threat to withdraw support to UPA

April 19th, 2008 - 11:56 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Lucknow, April 19 (IANS) Apparently peeved at Rahul Gandhi’s espousal of the cause of drought-hit and poverty-stricken farmers of Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Saturday issued yet another threat to withdraw her party’s support to the Manmohan Singh government. Though she was critical of the Congress MP’s visit to Jhansi, where he led a large band of farmers and staged a sit-in demonstration outside the divisional commissioner’s residence Friday, Mayawati made it appear that her decision was not prompted by Gandhi’s repeated forays into her domain.

“I wish to warn the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government that I will be constrained to withdraw support to it in case they fail to concede our long-pending demand for a special economic package of Rs.80,000 crores (Rs.800 billion) for development of the Bundelkhand region,” Mayawati told a press conference here Saturday.

“I am also quite disillusioned with other policies of the Manmohan Singh government that has failed to arrest the price rise. I would therefore want to make it loud and clear to all UPA leaders that if they fail to control prices in the next three or four months, I would just withdraw support without any further concessions,” she declared.

The last such warning from Mayawati was issued in January. However, realising that her arch rival Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party had discreetly started baiting the Congress-led UPA, the chief minister quietly backtracked.

However, Rahul Gandhi’s repeated visits to Dalit pockets in different parts of Uttar Pradesh have chagrined her no end. And every time the Congress MP has tried to reach out to any Dalit in need, he has evoked sharp criticism from Mayawati who has described such visits as “gimmicks”.

It was no wonder that Gandhi’s visit to Jhansi was also termed by Mayawati as a demonstration of his “petty politics and cheap gimmick”.

She went on to add, “if Rahul truly wished to do something for the people of this state, let him use his good offices to get us the special economic package of Rs.80,000 crores so that we could transform the lives of people of Bundelkhand.”

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