First Hisar in Haryana and now Uttar Pradesh. This seems to be the season of anti-Congress campaigns.
Unveiling an 84-acre grand memorial dedicated to Dalit icons BR Ambedkar, Jyotiba Phule and Kanshi Ram in Noida on Friday, UP chief minister Mayawati claimed the Congress could temporarily install a Dalit like Meira Kumar or Sushil Kumar Shinde as Prime Minister before assembly polls in the state next year to hoodwink the community and deflect attention from the 2G scam.
She, however, was confident that Dalits - 21% of UP's population - would only vote for her.
"Out of fear of the BSP, it is possible the Congress may make Meira Kumar or Sushil Kumar Shinde prime minister for some time," Mayawati said.
Mayawati said the Congress had not made Kumar's father Jagjiwan Ram Prime Minister "because he was a Dalit", but may now put a Dalit in the top post "with a heavy heart".
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh responded to this: "Dr Manmohan Singh is an honest Prime Minister and there is no vacancy in the Prime Minister's post at present."
Mayawati also said that despite ruling UP for 38 years, the Congress did nothing for its poor.
Pointing out that it was the Congress that worked for Dalits, Singh said, "If memorials are built in memory of Dalit leaders, we are happy. But one doesn't understand Mayawati erecting her own statue and also garlanding it. From Nehru, Indira Gandhi to Sonia Gandhi, we have all worked for Dalits. We gave them reservation. But she does vote bank politics."
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been attempting to recapture this vote, once a mainstay of the Congress' rainbow coalition of upper castes, Dalits and Muslims.
Defending the Rs 685-crore Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal, Mayawati pointed to memorials of "Congress leaders" west of the Yamuna and said the majority of the cost for the memorial built by her came from donations.
She also accused the Centre of "misusing" the CBI to implicate her in corruption cases, claiming Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had in 2003 promised her "justice" in the disproportionate assets case if the party returned to power but did not "keep her promise".Watch video | In pics: Maya's icons