Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati clarified that protest demonstrations her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had organised across Uttar Pradesh Friday were not connected with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's birthday.
"We selected June 19 to launch an awareness campaign about the casteist approach of opposition parties and to attack the central government for its anti-Dalit policies but that had nothing to do with Rahul Gandhi's birthday, which I am told also falls today," she told a rally here.
"In any case, I understand that Rahul Gandhi was not celebrating his birthday on the Indian soil but had chosen some foreign country to celebrate the occasion," she quipped.
"I chose June 19 because it was on this day that I was asked to prove my first government's strength on the floor of the state assembly after I became chief minister for the first time (in 1995)," she said.
She, however, did not explain why it took her more than a week to clarify.
A pamphlet BSP distributed across the state earlier in the day targeted Rahul Gandhi.
In the pamphlet, Mayawati is quite sarcastic about some "Congress leaders' bid to woo Dalits by playing gimmicks like sharing a meal with them or by spending a night in their homes" - something that the young leader has been doing in this state.
As Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi focussed on Uttar Pradesh, apart from Bihar, in the Lok Sabha election campaign, the party improved its tally from the state though the ruling BSP failed to improve its numbers.