BSP displays Sonia Gandhi photo with currency garland


Lucknow: Hitting out at the Congress party for its tirade against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s mammoth currency note garland, a senior Bahujan Samaj Party minister Thursday displayed a photograph of Congress president Sonia Gandhi also wearing a currency note garland.

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The display of Gandhi’s picture here was the highlight of the BSP’s state-wide protest in the party-ruled state against what they termed as “petty politicking by all opposition parties”.

Addressing a protest rally of BSP workers at the Lucknow Collectorate, Mayawati’s multi-portfolio minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui also displayed pictures of two other opposition leaders donning similar “royal” gear.

While a picture of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran L.K. Advani showed him donning a silver crown on his head, another one was of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav swinging a silver ‘gada’ (mace).

“No one raises even an eyebrow if Sonia Gandhi receives a currency note garland; no one talks about L.K. Advani wearing a silver crown; and even when Mulayam Singh Yadav flaunts a silver ‘gada’, no one minds that. But all hell breaks loose if a Dalit’s daughter is offered a garland of currency notes,” Siddiqui told the gathering amidst cheers.

He claimed that “the opposition is trying to frustrate the party rally from day one. Initially, they got a PIL filed against holding of the rally; when they did not succeed with that, they engineered disturbing of a beehive, leading to a swarm of bees to rush to the rally venue. But that too failed as the bees chose to settle down under the shade of the dais without causing any kind of disturbance to anyone or biting anybody. The opposition eventually raised the garland bogey.”

Slogans of “Virodhiyon hosh mein aao; Behenji se mat takrao (Rivals come to your senses; Don’t mess with Behenji [Mayawati])”, rent the air as several BSP leaders addressed the gathering, singing praises of Mayawati and flaying the opposition.

Reacting to the BSP accusation against Sonia Gandhi, Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh said: “All I wish to point out is that while Sonia Gandhi with all her inheritance of four Nehru-Gandhi generations has total assets worth Rs.1.32 crore, Mayawati’s officially declared assets have already shot up to Rs.62 crore in a matter of just four years.”