Mayawati rushes to Etawah to be one-up on Rahul Gandhi

March 15th, 2008 - 12:20 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Lucknow, March 14 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Friday cut short her stay in Varanasi with the prime minister, who was there on a two-day visit, and rushed to a village in Etawah district where five members of a Dalit family were killed. Mayawati rushed to the village as soon as she heard that Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was heading there.

Gandhi was scheduled to go to Aminabad village Saturday to meet the survivors of the family, five of whose members were gunned down Thursday.

Mayawati flew from Lucknow to Varanasi to receive the prime minister visiting the city Friday afternoon, but she rushed to Etawah by a state helicopter almost immediately after receiving him at Varanasi’s Babatpur airport, sources said.

A makeshift helipad was created for the chief minister at an intermediate college about three kilometres from Aminabad village.

Since it was getting dark and the make-shift landing spot at the village had no night-landing facility, Mayawati flew off within minutes of Manmohan Singh’s arrival at Varanasi.

Official sources said that soon after reaching the village and meeting the family of the victims, she ordered immediate suspension of the station house officer of Ekdil police station, under which Amindabad village falls.

The chief minister also announced immediate ex-gratia payment of Rs.100,000 to the next of kin of each of the deceased, allotment of government owned houses in the village, and a plot of agricultural land to provide the family a source of livelihood .

Since the surviving members of the family include four girls, the eldest of them being only eight years, the chief minister also declared that the state government would bear the entire expenditure for their education.

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