Elephant giving nightmares to Rahul: Mayawati

Lucknow: Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi, UP Chief Minister Mayawati today said that he was indulging in "theatrics" during rallies instead of attending Parliament as Congressmen were getting nightmares of `elephant`, her party`s poll symbol, driving them away from the state.

"Congress is afraid of mass base of the BSP due to which its `Yuvraj` has skipped Parliament session to visit UP to do theatrics. It seems BSP`s symbol elephant is haunting and chasing Congressmen in their dreams due to which they are making baseless statements using its name," Mayawati said addressing a `Dalits-OBC` rally here.

Gandhi, who has been attacking Mayawati government on the issue of corruption in the run up to the assembly polls due next year, had while addressing a public meeting in Siddharthnagar on Friday said that an `elephant` in Lucknow was eating away all the money sent by the Centre for the poor in Uttar Pradesh.

Terming Rahul`s "beggar" remarks as as insult to the people of the state, the BSP supremo said they have migrated to other states in search of livelihood as successive Congress governments failed to ensure development of UP.

Taking a dig at Gandhi`s promise of making UP "number one" state in five years, Mayawati said it was mere a "political gimmick" as Congress had ruled the state for 40 years but could not ensure development.

"How will he make UP number one in five years when his party failed to do so in 40 years of its rule," she said. "The proof of this is that people of `sarvjan samaj` had to migrate to other states for earning their livelihood. In Congress-ruled states, dalits and OBCs are being exploited," Mayawati said.

Dismissing allegations of discrepancies in implementation of MNREGS, Mayawati said that Congress was raising the issue only for "cheap publicity and political gains" while claiming that strict action had been initiated against those indulging in irregularities.

"Congress is highlighting MNREGS in such a way as if it owns the scheme despite the fact that it was passed in Parliament and all the parties supported it. The Centre is giving us step-motherly treatment by not timely releasing funds creating hurdles in its implementation," she said, adding that the funds meant under the scheme were the "right of the state" and not a "mercy" of the Centre.

"The Congress is indulging in cheap publicity for political gains using MNREGS. In UP, strict action has been initiated against those involved in irregularities in the scheme," Mayawati said, promising that if BSP government was formed at the Centre, employment would be given for all 365 days under the job scheme.

Claiming that central commissions were sent to UP only, Mayawati said that even major incidents in Congress-ruled states were not noticed by these panels, "which make a lot of hue and cry here on minor incidents".

Trying to strike an emotional chord with dalits and OBCs, considered her support base, Mayawati said that it was her aim to have a dalit chief minister in the state for next 15 years and OBC chief minister thereafter so that problems faced by these communities could be addressed.