With Union Budget 2010-11 passed in Parliament defeating an united opposition, and with no legislative agenda for the next two months, the Congress today trained its gun on arch rival Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on its turf, Uttar Pradesh (UP).
This time, the attack came from none other than Sonia Gandhi, president of the Congress party.
During a trip to Rae Bareli, her Lok Sabha constituency, Sonia Gandhi slammed UP Chief Minister and BSP leader Mayawati for “misrule and lack of development”. The state is slated to go for elections in 2012.
The Congress, during the past few elections have maintained to go solo and fight Mayawati’s BSP, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BJP simultaneously.
It may be recalled that during a vote on the Budget, when the Left, the BJP and other parties had brought a cut motion against fuel price hike, the SP and the RJD staged a walkout weakening the Opposition strength and the BSP supported the government to pass the demands for grants of the Budget.
Today, on the first day of her visit, Sonia Gandhi was faced with angry protestors suffering from massive power cuts in her constituency. Her convoy was stopped by large groups of angry villagers on the way to Dalmau. Rae Bareli has been experiencing 10 hours of power cut almost every day, as the state reels from a power deficit of 1,351 million units. The Congress president heard out the grievances of the protestors.
Soon, she took up the issue of development to launch an attack on Mayawati. She said: “A sorry state of affairs continues in the largest electoral state.” She alleged that despite the Centre’s liberal assistance, money was not being spent for development programmes. “Though the Centre is providing crores of rupees to the state for development and welfare schemes, I have been told that the people of UP still face problems of shortage of seeds, fertiliser and potable water,” she said at a party workers’ meet.
Taking a dig at Mayawati’s repeated allegations that the Centre treated UP in a step-motherly manner, Sonia Gandhi said: “Everyone knows how the state government treats Rae Bareli and Amethi.”