Rae Bareli and Amethi -- the respective parliamentary constituencies of United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, have ceased to enjoy a VVIP status, following withdrawal of “no power cut” order by the Akhilesh Yadav government.
The order came into effect Saturday, provoking loud protests and demonstrations by Congress workers in both the towns, clearly signaling the worsening of relations between the ruling Samajwadi Party and the Centre.
The special status was accorded to Rae Bareli and Amethi after a request was made in that regard by none other than Sonia Gandhi , who had been repeatedly approached by her constituents about the prolonged and unscheduled power cuts they had to go through during the Mayawati regime.
Responding to the complaint, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav declared Rae Bareli and Amethi in the list of VVIP areas where the state would ensure uninterrupted power supply 24x7.
Among the other such districts was the Samajwadi Party’s family home Etawah, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s constituency Mainpuri, the chief minister’s wife Dimple Yadav’s constituency, Kannauj , Azam Khan’s home, Rampur , UP’s key industrial hub ,Noida and the state capital Lucknow.
Top power corporation officials maintained that the decision was taken in view of the increased power crisis across the state. “In fact, load-shedding has been ordered in all districts of the state, so there can be no exceptions,” claimed a senior official of the UP Power Corporation.
However, state Congress spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh maintained, “The power corporation was in any case doing routine load shedding in both Amethi and Rae Bareli; despite the government’s commitment to providing 24- hour supply, the actual power supply was never more than 18 hours, so what’s the big deal?”
Meanwhile according to reports reaching here from the two high profile political constituencies, Congress workers raised ‘anti-Akhilesh Yadav’ government slogans in both Amethi and Rae Bareli. Protestors accused the government of displaying its bias against the two places, ‘purely for political reasons’.