Mayawati to hold 'maharally' in Sonia's bastion

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Lucknow, Oct 15 (UNI) Accusing the Congress of playing dirty politics in the name of land in Rae Bareli meant for the Rail Coach Factory, Chief Minister Mayawati, in an acerbic rejoinder, today said had her government not followed the democratic norms, the Congress president would have been sent to jail.

Reacting strongly to Ms Gandhi's statement in Rae Bareli yesterday that she was willing to go to jail, if prevented to visit her parliamentary constituency, the UP Chief Minister said ''If my government was out to misuse its powers, the desire of Ms Gandhi (to go to jail) would have been fulfilled.'' She said her party and government would not allow the Congress to malign their image on the land issue and would soon hold a 'maharally' in Rae Bareli to clear the confusion in the minds of people there.

Launching a scathing attack on the conduct of the Congress over the issue of land in Rae Bareli, Ms Mayawati said it was a blatant example of dirty politics and the issue was raked up with an eye on the coming Lok Sabha polls. ''Why did the Congress wake up so late in laying the foundation stone of the Rail Coach Factory while it had been announced many years ago,'' she asked.

The BSP supremo made it clear that the land allotment for the factory was cancelled due to the resentment of the farmers but still, she had authorised her Principal Secretary Net Ram to speak to the farmers to settle the issue. ''He has been asked to submit his report in three days time,'' she said while stating that this gesture was to prove her government had never given preference to politics over development.

''The problem with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi is that they both never looked beyond Rae Bareli and Amethi and the development in other parts of the state has always been irrelevent for them,'' Ms Mayawati alleged while charting out the various developmental projects of the state government scuttled by the Centre on one pretext or another.

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