Congress ups ante in UP, threatens agitation from Aug 1

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 18:23

New Delhi: The turf war between the BSP and the Congress is expected to intensify in Uttar Pradesh with Congress on Tuesday threatening to launch an agitation from August one to press for a CBI probe into the attack on UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi`s house in Lucknow.
"We will not cooperate with CB-CID. We do not have any
trust in the state government. If the case of fire and arson
is not referred to the CBI by July 31, we will launch a state
wide agitation from August 1," Joshi told reporters at the
AICC headquarters here.

Joshi was closeted with General Secretary in-charge of
the state Digvijay Singh and other senior leaders to discuss
the political strategy and also to shortlist candidates for
the Assembly bye-election to over a dozen seats in the
crucial state where the party did surprising well in the Lok
Sabha elections.

She said she had written a letter to UP chief minister
Mayawati on the "involvement" of officials of the state
government in the July 15 incident of fire and arson.

"This is not a common incident. For the first time,
the house of the president of a party in the state has been
burnt...," Joshi said, referring to the attack on her house
after she allegedly made derogatory statements against
Mayawati .

The UP Congress chief, who is out on interim bail in
cases registered against her under SC/ST Act, said a leader in
with the rank of a minister was involved and she did not
expect the CB-CID to conduct a fair investigation.

Joshi said officials from the CB-CID reached her
Lucknow residence today morning but she has instructed her
staff not to cooperate with them.

"I will not answer their queries. We will not cooperate
with them. We want a CBI enquiry," she said.

Attacking the Mayawati government in the state, she
claimed it had shown no signs of change in its way of

"Our CM is not doing anything for the people of the
state like other chief ministers. False cases are being lodged
against political opponents. Houses are being burnt.
Corruption is rampant. We have to fight for the rights of the
people," she said.

Joshi said she had sought an appointment from party
President Sonia Gandhi to apprise her of the developments in
the state. She said she is likely to meet Gandhi tomorrow.

In the meeting held at AICC, Digvijay Singh, Joshi,
CLP leader in UP Pramod Tiwari and AICC Secretary of the state
Parvez Hashmi also shortlisted the candidates for the assembly
bye-elections to over a dozen seats in the state.

"We have shortlisted the candidates for four seats. We
will contest all the seats for which elections are being
held," Joshi said.

A meeting of the MPs from the state is also expected
to take place on July 25 to discuss the political strategy for
the revival of the party in the state. Congress General
Secretary Rahul Gandhi is expected to participate in the

Asked about the political roadmap of the Congress in
the state following the bitter confrontation with the BSP, she
said Rahul Gandhi has already given instruction for an
agitation against the state government.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 18:23

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