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'Rahul takes bath after visiting Dalits'

Reacting sharply to the UP Chief Minister's attack, Cong says Maya is jealous of Rahul Gandhi's success, reports HT Correspondent.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, Azamgarh
UPDATED ON APR 08, 2008 09:47 AM IST

Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday said Rahul Gandhi invariably took a bath using a “special” soap after his visits to Dalit homes.

“Congress is losing no stone unturned to woo dalits and is sending its prince (Rahul Gandhi) to live and eat with Dalits in various places just to garner their votes.

“I have also come to know that when this prince returns to his home in Delhi after meeting and eating with dalits, he is given a bath with a special soap and he goes through purification rituals,” she said at a meeting.

Last week at a Congress convention in Kanpur, Gandhi attacked Mayawati for only mouthing platitudes for Dalits, who, he said, were feeling “cheated” in UP.

On the occasion, he narrated the story of a Dalit who held his hand and took him to his house during his recent visit to Etawah and showed how he was living with no power and other basic amenities.

Addressing a well-attended election rally at SKP College grounds in support of BSP candidate for the Azamgarh Lok Sabha bypoll Akbar ‘Dumpy’ Ahmad, she said the Congress and all other parties, which had ruled the country, had neglected Uttar Pradesh. “I had demanded Rs 80,000-crore package from the Centre for development but the Union government did not respond,” she said.

She said the rich had become richer and the poor poorer due to the misguided policies of successive Union governments.

She also rejected the allegation of the Samajwadi Party that its activists were being victimised. She said that if that were true, Mulayam Singh would have been behind bars.

The Congress reacted sharply to Mayawati’s attack. “I don’t want to react in the same idiom and make the same choice of words which have been used… They are jealous and scared of the extremely successful visits of the young leader,’’ said party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi. “Instead of shedding crocodile tears for such groups, Rahul Gandhi has shown true concern for them.” He emphasised there must be dignity in discourse.

He said that if Rahul’s “extremely successful” yatras were giving a “stomach ache” to someone, then, “I could only say it reflects their insecurity and does not have anything to do with Rahul Gandhi, who in a candid, sincere, open, transparent spirit is criss-crossing different parts of India.”

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