Sonia is India Mata, Rahul Lord Krishna in UP
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Last Updated: Thursday, November 25, 2010, 22:01
Zeenews Bureau

Allahabad: Congress president Sonia Gandhi had to face black flags and protests here on Tuesday as her party posters portrayed her as ‘India Mata’ and showed party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi as Lord Krishna on a chariot.

Gandhi was visiting the city where she addressed a rally on the occasion of celebrations to mark 125 years of the party's establishment.

This was objected to by former Education Minister and BJP leader Narendra Singh Gaur, who slammed the Congress for its “sycophancy”.

“…calling Sonia Mata India and showing Rahul as Lord Krishna will not be acceptable to anybody in the country," Gaur said.

Scores of youth wing activists of the BJP and Samajwadi Party were today detained by police here following separate protests staged by them where attempts were made to block the motorcade of Congress President Sonia Gandhi while she was on her way to address a rally.

The Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha activists took the security forces by surprise as they appeared suddenly before Gandhi's motorcade, showing black flags to her and and releasing black balloons in the air to press their demand for resumption of students' union elections in Allahabad University.

They demanded that Gandhi, who was heading towards the venue of the rally after visiting the historic Anand Bhavan, make a public announcement for holding elections in the institution which enjoys the status of a central University.

Sonia vs. Mayawati

At the rally, Sonia slammed the Mayawati government for its failure to utilise "massive" dose of central assistance for welfare schemes, but the chief minister hit back saying the Centre has not given anything beyond Constitutional provisions.

"The UP government does not seem to have the will to utilise the billions of rupees allocated by the Centre for improving the living conditions of its own people," she said.

Without naming Mayawati or her Bahujan Samaj Party, she said for Congress, "Politics was a medium to serve the people. Because of this approach, massive funds have been provided to Uttar Pradesh by the UPA government."

Hours after Gandhi's criticism, Mayawati hit back saying Congress, which ruled the state for over 40 years, alone was responsible for lack of basic infrastructure facilities.

"Congress, which ruled the state for over 40 years and was in power at the Centre for 50 years, is responsible for the backwardness and lack of basic infrastructure facilities in the state. The party never did anything for the state," she said in a statement in Lucknow.

Alleging that Gandhi was trying to create an impression that the Centre was doing something special for the state, she said the state was getting funds as per its Constitutional rights and the Centre was not providing anything extra.

The trading of charges between the two leaders came at a time when both the parties were preparing for the Assembly election due in early 2012.

-PTI inputs

First Published: Thursday, November 25, 2010, 22:01

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