New Delhi, Oct.15 : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday described Congress president Sonia Gandhi's challenge that she was ready to go to jail if not allowed into her constituency Rae Bareli as political drama.
Criticising the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for their step-motherly treatment of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati denied that she was playing politics through her decision to cancel the allotment of land for building a Railway Coach Factory that was to be inaugurated by Gandhi on Tuesday.
Irked by Sonia Gandhi's remarks, Mayawati termed her allegations as baseless.
Mayawati said that the railway coach factory in Rae Bareli was part of a political conspiracy to mislead the poor, specially the residents of the constituency.
"Congress thinks of setting up a rail coach factory in Rae Bareli only a few months before Lok Sabha elections," she said.
Denying allegations of Sonia Gandhi that her government was against development, she added that the Congress has put impediments in schemes like Ganga and Yamuna expressways.
Congress is worried only about Rae Bareli but I am worried about the whole of Uttar Pradesh, said the UP chief minister.
On Tuesday, a prohibitory order banned Sonia from holding a public meeting in Lalganj, but it couldn't gag the Rae Bareli MP and Congress chief.
"This place is now my home. I don't have to seek anyone's permission to come here. No one can stop me from visiting Rae Bareli," she said at Lalganj railway station, accusing Mayawati of obstructing progress by cancelling the land allocation for a rail coach factory nearby.
The area, she said, was the "karmabhoomi" of the Nehru-Gandhi family and after Rajiv Gandhi, the mantle to nurse it had fallen on her and Rahul. Local residents gaped in awe as a defiant Sonia drove into Lalganj on Tuesday afternoon to take on Mayawati's might.
Rescheduling her itinerary during her brief four-hour stay, the Congress president settled for an impromptu road show which took her to Balhemau Usar farm - the contentious site for the coach factory.
Defying the prohibitory order imposed by Mayawati, Sonia Gandhi said she was prepared to even go to jail if needed. When asked how she would respond to Mayawati's cancelling the land allocation for the coach factory, she indicated the state leadership would carry forward the agitation. "They are capable of taking the issue to the public and launch a stir," Sonia said as senior party leaders from the UP unit sheepishly nodded in unison.