Mayawati gives ultimatum to UPA, targets Rahul

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Lucknow, Apr 19: Castigating the Congress for ''ignoring the welfare of people'' in the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today issued a ''last warning'' to the UPA government, threatening that the BSP would be compelled to withdraw support from the Centre if a Rs 80,000 crore package was not released for UP and inflation not checked.

Reiterating her government's demand of the Rs 80,000 crore package for Bundelkhand and other backward areas of the state, she said: ''I had warned the UPA government about this on January 7 last. But this time, there would be no letter of warning. Instead our support would be withdrawn straightaway if the Centre fails to to provide it (package) in two to three months.'' The UP CM said the special package by the Centre would help the people of Uttar Pradesh get rid of poverty and unemployment.

''I am warning the Central government for the last time to release the package or my party would go to the people to tell them about undoing of the Centre,'' Ms Mayawati said while addressing a press conference here this afternoon.

She, however, said despite the ''limited'' financial resources at its disposal, her government was able to provide relief to the people of Bundelkhand.

Apparently peeved at Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's repeated visits to the drought-hit Bundelkhand region, the Uttar Pradesh CM advised him to stop the ''drama'' and indulge in positive politics.

Reacting sharply to Mr Gandhi's Bundelkhand visit and his ''much-publicised '' 'dharna' outside Jhanshi Divisional Commissioner's office yesterday, she said it was just a ''political drama'' engineered by the Congress, which was ''upset'' over its dismal showing in the recent bypolls to the two Lok Sabha and three Assembly constituencies.

Choosing to call Amethi MP 'yuvraj ( prince)' of the Congress, Ms Mayawati said: ''Instead of indulging in political stunt, why is'nt Mr Gandhi pressing upon the Centre to release the package at the earliest.'' The AICC General Secretary had recently made an unscheduled visit to Budlekhand region and raised several issues concerning farmers and downtrodden people in the area.

Ms Mayawati said the backwardness of Bundelkhand had been due to the ''callous attitude'' of the Congress over the years. '' I wonder if Congress prince (Rahul Gandhi) has not come to realise it,'' she remarked, adding ''I expect him to discharge his duties as the MP from the state and press his own government for special Rs 80,000 crore package to UP.'' She said Mr Gandhi should use his ''power, energy and intelligence'' to help the Central government, which was on ''tenterhooks'' due to abnormal price rise in the country.

''He, probably, does not understand that the inflation is the biggest problem people of the state and the country,'' Ms Mayawati added.

UNI

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