Rahul's 'secret' visit to UP raises Mayawati's hackles again

With aam adami


As Rahul’s programme was kept a closely guarded secret and even the top state police officials and the UP Congress leaders not aware of it, his visit generated a lot of heat with Mayawati planning to write to the prime minister expressing her serious reservation.

Rahul, who arrived by a commercial flight on Wednesday afternoon, headed straight to the neighbouring Barabanki district where he visited the flood-hit areas and interacted with the people and inquired about the status of the Centre’s flagship NREG scheme. The Congress leader’s cavalcade then sped towards Baharaich district where he met the villagers on the way and listened to their problems.

Rahul reached the house of Chedi Paswan, a Dalit, at Rampur Tilhar village in Shravasti district, around 1 am and spent the night there.

“The young MP had a simple meal with Chedi and in the morning he freely mingled with the people and inquired about their problems,” state Congress sources here said.

Meanwhile, the state government was expected to lodge a formal protest with the Centre over Rahul’s visit.

“Rahul is an SPG protectee. He should not behave so irresponsibly. Who will be responsible if any thing happens to him,” said a government spokesman. He said Mayawati would write a letter to the prime minister in this regard.

Rahul’s frequent visits to the Dalit households have earned him Mayawati’s wrath and the latter has termed them ‘nautanki’ (drama) aimed at securing votes.

Apparently, Mayawati looks upon the visits as an attempt by the Congress to make a dent in her core vote bank of Dalits.

The UP Congress, however, said the incident reflected how inefficient the state intelligence agencies were. “They could not locate Rahul Gandhi in the state capital even though the Congress MP arrived here by a commercial flight,” said UP Congress chief Reeta Bahuguna Joshi.

Rahul taken for official at UP village

Not many people in Rampur Tilhar village in Uttar Pradesh’s backward Shravasti district could recognise Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, when he reached there around midnight on Wednesday completely unannounced and spent the night at a dalit household, reports DHNS from Lucknow.

The woman pradhan of the village and others took him as a government official visiting the village to make some inquiries.

“Do you people recognise me?,” the congress leader asked but got no response. Only one person, Babadeen, also a dalit, recognised him saying that he had seen him (Rahul) on TV.

Rahul sat on a cot and had a long chat with the villagers during which he sought to know about their problems and the progress of centrally sponsored schemes. Like an ordinary villager, Rahul spent the night in the village and also took a round of the village in the morning. “He also took a bath at a hand pump and had paranthas and sabzi before leaving at around 10 in the morning,” said district Congress leaders citing the villagers.

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