Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday targeted the Congress party by slamming Priyanka Gandhi for "staging a drama" with the intent of projecting the party as "some messiah of Dalits".
Priyanka had taken up the cause of a Dalit, whose house was bulldozed in Punnpur village in Amethi, her mother and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's parliamentary constituency.
The police had refused to register the victim's First Information Report till Priyanka had intervened.
Visibly peeved over the episode, Mayawati said, "It was very obvious that whatever Priyanka Gandhi did in Amethi was part of a conspiracy."
"I am told that the Congress party only got this Dalit to occupy an upper caste Thakur's land and then after when he was evicted, Priyanka Gandhi stepped in to project her mother's party as a champion of the Dalit cause," she said.
Mayawati also surprised all by announcing the induction of two expelled Samajwadi Party Members of Parliament into her party.
One of the legislators is a prime accused in the assault, allegedly engineered by SP president and then Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, against the BSP legislators and Mayawati on June 2, 1996.
The alleged assault took place after Mayawati chose to suddenly pull out of the alliance with Yadav, after which the two leaders turned into sworn political enemies.
Proclaiming herself as a "truly judicious" chief minister, she said, "My action in ensuring the restoration of the land to the legitimate Thakur owner also proves wrong all my critics who have been branding the BSP as a solely Dalit party."
"I wish to send my message loud and clear that no injustice will be tolerated by me, and even if the culprit is a Dalit he will not get any kind of shelter from me," she added.
Priyanka, however, refused to join issues with Mayawati, before leaving for New Delhi after her five-day tour.
'Priyanka's visit will perk up Congress in Uttar Pradesh'
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