Lucknow : Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday called for the ouster of Chief Minister Mayawati and for bringing back the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh, as Mayawati dismissed him as a “dynastic inheritor without substance”.
The war of words between the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and the Congress leader continued on the fourth consecutive day, with both taking pot-shots at each other.
The Congress’ star campaigner was on the final leg of his five-day mass-contact tour of certain parts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, where he was busy trying to infuse some energy into the otherwise dormant party as a part of his preparation for the forthcoming state assembly elections.
If Rahul was busy accusing Mayawati of remaining confined to her ivory tower and therefore being oblivious to the plight of the poor, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister let her party spokesman hit back at the Congress general secretary by terming his forays into Dalit homes as a “gimmick”.
Refuting Rahul’s allegations, Mayawati highlighted how she and her mentor and BSP founder Kanshi Ram had traversed across different parts of the country – “even on foot and bicycle” – like ordinary citizens .
Rahul gave a call at Siddharthnagar, about 250 km from here, for Mayawati’s ouster and to “bring back the Congress for complete transformation of Uttar Pradesh in 10 years”.
Mayawati retaliated, asking “what the Congress had done for UP’s development in its 40 years of rule over the state?”
Taking strong exception to his remarks, BSP state spokesman Swami Prasad Maurya hit back at the Congress general secretary, accusing him of “attempting to mislead the people of the state through his lies”.
Contradicting Rahul’s charge of “misgovernance by Mayawati”, the BSP spokesman said in a statement issued here Thursday, “I would like to ask the Congress yuvraj (prince) to explain whether his party had done anything to remove poverty and unemployment.”
Flaying Rahul for making sweeping remarks against the BSP and its leadership, he said, “it was hightime Rahul did some introspection to feel and understand the pain and sorrow of the poor and the downtrodden.”
Maurya sought to dismiss Rahul’s remarks against the BSP and its top leadership as “reflection of his poor knowledge and insight about the struggle and history of the BSP.” While issuing an outline of the evolution of the party from 1977, he also sought to draw a comparison between the BSP and the Congress.
“While Rahul was just an inheritor of a legacy that was given to him on a platter, BSP founder Kanshi Ram and his lieutenant Mayawati had struggled for years to fight for the cause of the most downtrodden section of society and to build the party from a scratch,” the spokesman said.