The Congress on Thursday termed as "cheap retaliation" the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) displaying at a protest demonstration in Lucknow a picture of Sonia Gandhi wearing a garland of currency notes.
"This is a cheap retaliation. Firstly, we are not sure whether the picture is authentic or not… Artificial changes might have been made in the photo," Congress media department chief Janardan Dwivedi said.
Accusing the opposition of trying to malign Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s image by raking up the issue of cash garland presented to the BSP chief on March 15, PWD Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui said why no one spoke up when Gandhi was presented the garland.
"When the BSP supremo is offered such a garland, a lot of hue and cry is raised but when the Congress president wears it, no one raises a question."
"Any comparison between this photo and cash garlands worn by Mayawati is ridiculous. No right-minded person will arrive at any such comparison…," Dwivedi said.
The BSP also tried to take on the BJP and the Samajwadi Party. It put out photographs of BJP leader L.K. Advani wearing a gold-coloured "crown" and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav holding a silver club.
"How could a simple teacher like Mulayam Singh Yadav amass such huge wealth," Siddiqui said.
BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit president Hriday Narain Dixit said the two things — "crown" and cash garland — couldn’t be compared. "We demand that the BSP tell the people about the source of the garland which was offered to Mayawati."
(With PTI inputs from Lucknow)