Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday opened a new front with the Congress when the administation cancelled an interaction by Rahul Gandhi with students of the Chandrashekhar Azad University in Kanpur on Friday.
Rahul Gandhi drove straight from the airport to the university where he found the doors of the auditorium, where he was scheduled to hold the interaction, locked.
Sources said the vice chancellor of the university had given instructions to cancel the programme. However, Rahul Gandhi went ahead with his programme of meeting with the students at the university cafetaria.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Rita Bahuguna Joshi alleged that the cancellation was done under pressure from Chief Minister Mayawati, who a fortnight ago took on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, cancelling the land allotment for a rail coach factory in Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency.
After the cancellation, the adminsitration also clamped prohibitory orders in Rae Bareli last week when Sonia Gandhi was scheduled to visit her constituency for the rail coach factory foundation stone laying ceremony.
As the issue went to court, the ceremony was cancelled, but Sonia Gandhi went ahead with the visit and declared that she was ready to go to jail for the sake of development, which the chief minister she alleged was blocking.
A few days later Mayawati also rescinded the cancellation of allotment and cleared land for the railways.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh told PTI that Rahul was to interact with students in the campus at 10.30 am, but the vice chancellor cancelled the permission without citing any reasons.
"Rahul's visit to the varsity was not political. He just wanted to know the problems being faced by the students there," he said.