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Rahul takes on Mayawati on her home turf
April 16, 2008 03:38 IST
Taking the battle against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in her home district, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi [Images] on Tuesday night set out on a 'reality check' tour of the drought-hit Bundelkhand region of the state.
"He is on a reality check tour of the drought-affected Bundelkhand region. He is expected to be there for the next few days," sources close to the Congress parliamentarian said.
Gandhi, who will be campaigning at a remote area in Tekamgarh in the region, is expected to inspect implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme among other things.
The tour by Rahul is being looked at as an attempt by Congress at ascertaining Mayawati's claim to having delivered 'relief' to the region, the sources added.
The Congress leader is expected to interact with the villagers in the southern part of the state and also check with local Congress leaders the status of activities taken up by them after his visit to the region early this year.
Rahul's tour of Bundelkhand comes just a little more than a week after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images], at a meeting of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee in Kanpur, had asked her party workers to take to the streets against the Mayawati government and court arrest, if needed.
Rahul's visit to UP also coincides with the Olympic torch relay in the national capital, which has also plunged into controversy in the wake of China's crackdown on protestors in Tibet [Images]. The Congress leader's office has maintained that Rahul has not received any invitation for the event.
The Bundelkhand visit of Rahul is also seen as an attempt to steer clear of the controversy by remaining out of Delhi.
'A mere hoax'
Accusing the Congress of being anti-Dalit, she said every time Rahul visits a Dalit's house, he takes bath with a special soap and performed ablution (shuddhi).
Mayawati charged that the Congress as also other parties, which had ruled the state for 19 years were responsible for the backwardness of the state.
She claimed that her government had worked for the betterment of the poor of all caste, made metalled roads in Ambedkar villages and appointments on reserved seats.
The priorities of her government were education, health, water and electricity, she said.