Mayawati slams Congress party's austerity drive

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Lucknow, Sep 18 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has ridiculed Congress party's austerity drive, terming it as a ploy to steer attention away from the steep price rise.

Addressing a mass rally here on Thursday, Mayawati hit out at the Congress party, calling its austerity drive "a drama."

"Because of the wrong doings by the Congress government at the centre, the prices are rising due to which poor people across the country are suffering. And now to cover up its weaknesses, they have cut down on its travelling expenses by flying economy class and travelling by train. All this is just a drama," Mayawati said.

"With a drought looming and elections in some states approaching, the Congress-led government has embarked on a much-publicised austerity drive," she added.

In a country where the hierarchy of politicians is determined by the size of their bungalows and their convoys, Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi has asked party leaders to give up a fifth of their salaries for drought-relief work, and she flew economy class on a commercial flight to Mumbai to launch the poll campaign.

The finance ministry has appealed for fewer overseas trips with smaller entourages, and a ban on conferences in luxury hotels.

Bharatiya Janata Party and other political parties have criticised the austerity measures in view of the economic downturn and drought-like situation prevailing in the country as a case of 'tokenism'. (ANI)

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