Sonia Gandhi visited her Lok Sabha constituency Rae Bareli on Tuesday and dared Mayawati to stop her.
“Rae Bareli is like my home. I need not take anybody’s permission to visit my home. No one can stop me from visiting my place,” the Congress chief said after reaching Lalganj, which has been at the centre of a power battle between the Mayawati government and the Congress-led central government.
Sonia said Rae Bareli had been the “karm bhoomi” of Firoz Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. And it continues to be her and son Rahul’s karm bhoomi.
Sonia’s challenge came a day after the district administration refused permission to a proposed public rally that she was to hold at Lalganj.
Although she did not hold any rally, large crowds turned up to welcome her wherever she went, defying prohibitory orders in the entire district.
She told reporters at the Lalganj Railway station that there should be no politicking on issues of development, in a reference to the Mayawati government’s decision to cancel allotment of land for a rail coach factory at Lalganj. But she refused to comment directly on the dispute, saying the matter was now in court.
Sonia dropped hints that her party will take the development issue to the people in the run-up to the general elections. “I am also ready to go to jail (for the sake of development),” she said.