Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday 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," Gandhi told a rally organised at Allahabad as part of celebrations to mark 125 years of the party's establishment.
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 hits 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.
The chief minister said whenever funds were sought for the development of the state from the Centre, it did not pay heed to the demand and even delayed allocations which the state was entitled to.
"The state has to get Rs 34,083.54 crore from the Centre. It has got only Rs 16,414.16 crore and the rest is still pending," she said.
Mayawati alleged that the Centre was adopting apathetic attitude towards state while sanctioning funds for medical education, Panchayati Raj, education, rural development, family welfare, agriculture and irrigation.