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 functioning.

"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 meeting.

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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