Mulayam Singh takes a dig at Rahul Gandhi

Mulayam Singh takes a dig at Rahul Gandhi

Cong MPs stay at dalit village is no big thing, says SP chief

After UP Chief Minister and BSP supremo Mayawati, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav has now taken a dig at the young Congress MP’s “much-publicised” visits albeit in a veiled manner. “Visits to dalit households and having food with them by some people are being given much publicity these days but I had done the same thing way back in 1957-58”, Mulayam said while addressing a meeting of the SP youth wing here on Saturday.

“Visiting dalit households then was a big thing. I was even boycotted by the people of upper caste. Now, it is no big thing,” Yadav said in an obvious reference to Rahul’s frequent visits to dalit houses.

Mayawati had been targeting Rahul’s visits as she fears that it could make a dent in her dalit vote bank. She has termed the visits as “nautanki” (gimmick) aimed at “garnering their votes.” Yadav had so far refrained from commenting on Rahul’s visits.

Shift towards youth
The SP supremo also sought to dispel the impression that the youth of Uttar Pradesh was shifting towards the Congress owing mainly to Rahul’s efforts and declared that the SP would be giving 40 per cent nominations to the youths in the next assembly polls in UP in 2012. “Those below the age of 40 will get 40 per cent ticket in the elections,” he declared.

In an indication of widening of rift between the SP and Congress, Yadav held the UPA government equally responsible for the “plight” of the people in the State. “The UPA government has failed to check the spiralling prices of essential commodities,” he charged.