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Congress ready join Mulayam against Mayawati
Narendra Ch | 31 Mar 2008

The two-day Congress convention held in Kanpur of Uttar Pradesh has given clear signal of its intention to join hands with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and crack down on BSP chief Mayawati’s government in the state.

The two-day Congress convention held in Kanpur of Uttar Pradesh has given clear signal of its intention to join hands with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and crack down on BSP chief Mayawati’s government in the state.

The strategy formulated by the Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was put into motion. The convention has came down heavily on the Mayawati Government accusing it of corruption, saying a transparent administration could not be expected from the Chief Minister given her past record.

Sonia Gandhi launched a broadside against  BSP and said her MP son Rahul Gandhi would go to jail if needed to protest against BSP rule. Addressing the concluding session, she held the BSP responsible for the plight of the Dalits and backward classes in the state. She also accused the BSP government of indulging in corruption.

"The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has given millions and millions of rupees to the Uttar Pradesh government but not enough has been done for the people. It is time to ask the Uttar Pradesh government to give an account of where this money was spent," she said in her sharpest attack on the BSP since it took power in the country's most populous state last year.

"The Congress should start an agitation against the state government and (its members should) be prepared to go to jail if required. If need be, Rahul will go to jail with you," she said, referring to her son and Lok Sabha MP from Amethi.

Referring to his visit to Uttar Pradesh in March, Rahul Gandhi said: "In Etawah, Dalits told me that (former prime minister) Indira Gandhi used to think about them, (BSP leader) Kanshi Ram used to think about them. But today they have been betrayed. There is no one to look after their interests."

He said that the Mayawati government had also ignored the interests of the backward classes in the state.  His comments were a reiteration of what he said during a visit to Bundelkhand in January that only 5 percent of the funds meant for the poor and backward classes were going to the intended beneficiaries.

He has been trying to woo the Dalit vote - much to Mayawati's discomfiture. In January he spent a night in a Dalit house in Amethi. Also in March, he visited Etawah's Aminabad area where six members of a Dalit family were killed by bandits. This has been a matter of much concern to the BSP for which the Dalits are its core vote bank.

It may be recalled that after Mayawati’s ultimatum to the UPA government at the centre that her party will withdraw support at any time after January 15, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi started looking for alternate stretagies. They succeeded in luring Mulayam Singh Yadav, who openly declared that he is ready to join hands with Congress to expose `corrupt’ Mayawati’s regime.

According to sources, while Congress sought assurance from Samajwad Party chief to keep away his general secretary Amar Singh from lime-light, Yadav insisted that CBI and Income Tax cased should be expidated.

Congress is worry that continuation of Mayawati regime in UP would cut its core-votes of SCs in other Northern states and also some Southern states, as Mayawati is planning to put BSP candidates in all the Lok Sabha seats keeping an eye on Prime Ministership. Sensing danger to her government in the event of Congress and SP joined together, Mayawati restaining herself from criticizing UPA government.

However, she refused to support Congress candidate in Rajya Sabha elections from Madhya Pradesh, paving way for the winning of all BJP candidates.

The  Congress UP Working Committee, being held after 26 years, is significant as it comes a year ahead of the Lok Sabha polls which are expected to turn the state into a major battleground. Though Rahula Gandhi was expected to inaugurate the convention, he joined with her mother and party president Sonia Gandhi at the valedictory.

"To expect transparency and corruption-free administration from the present BSP Government is useless. Going by the past record of the present chief minister, it is very much clear how importance was given to corruption in the state. No department is free from corruption," the state unit of the party said in its resolution.

Ridiculing frequent transfer of officials in the state, the resolution said in just ten months of the BSP rule a "record" number of civil and police officials have been shifted. The resolution also said that the state government has been playing politics on the issue of a separate state of Bundelkhand.(EOM)