Thursday, April 15, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Rahul dares Mayawati on Ambedkar Jayanti

Rahul dares Mayawati on Ambedkar Jayanti
15 Apr 2010, 0526 hrs IST,ET Bureau

LUCKNOW: Even as Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi flagged off
party's 'yatra' in Uttar Pradesh where after more than two decades of
wilderness it is now aiming to wrest the state in the 2012 assembly
polls, chief minister Mayawati said Congress' show of respect towards
Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was an eyewash and that her government would
leave no stone unturned to ensure that Dalits get their due during her

Both the parties kicked off their political campaigns on Wednesday,
which importantly is Dr Ambedkar's birth anniversary, essentially
aiming at reaching out to the Dalits, a votebank which Mayawati is
trying to consolidate behind her and Congress under Mr Rahul Gandhi is
aiming to breach.

Addressing an impressive gathering at Mayawati's home turf in Ambedkar
Nagar, Rahul Gandhi said until recently people laughed when they said
Congress would change the political landscape of UP. "But when we
emerged as the biggest party in UP in the Lok Sabha polls a new
realisation dawned upon people," he said, calling upon people to usher
in a new change in the state.

Attacking the Mayawati government, Mr Gandhi said the Centre has sent
thousands of crores to the state government for welfare schemes, but
the money is not reaching to the poor and the needy. He said schemes
like National Rural Employment Guarantee Act — aimed at the poor and
the Dalits — are non-existent on the ground and when it is pointed out
to the state government officials they say that such schemes do not
benefit anybody. He said the Centre had sanctioned a package for
Bundelkhand region which has also failed to reach people.

Mr Gandhi said there was no dearth of money with the central
government for people-centric schemes, but the Uttar Pradesh
government was not cooperating in helping the poor and backward. Mr
Gandhi told the gathering that the state had suffered during the last
20-25 years of caste-and-religion-based politics, which Congress was
now trying to change with the help of the youth.

Chief minister Mayawati after paying floral tributes to Dr Ambedkar in
Lucknow said Congress was showing false concern for Dalits. She said
though Congress ruled the country for more than 50 years, it never
gave due respect to Dalit leaders and also failed to give Bharat Ratna
to Dr B R Ambedkar. She said it was due to this neglect that her
government decided to install statues of Dalit icons at different
places and construct memorials. But the opposition is criticising it,
she said.

Ms Mayawati said she would not be deterred by such criticism and was
committed to ensuring that the Dalits got their due.


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