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Maya sets aside a day to condemn opposition

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
Last updated on: January 15, 2009 21:11 IST
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On her birthday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati had an answer for each of her detractors: the Samjawadi Party, the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Congress.

"If Congressmen have a problem with my celebrating my birthday, then we could also observe Congress president Sonia Gandhi's birthday as ghulami diwas (slavery day) - considering she is a person of foreign origin, for which she has always been targeted by other opposition parties", Mayawati said.

She was addressing very special invitees (including some journalists) at a low-key function organised to mark her 53rd birthday at her official Kalidass Marg residence in Locknow.

Even while proclaiming that she had no intention to get into an argument with her political rivals for being critical of her fund-collection drive on her birthday, Mayawati made it a point to train her guns one by one at each of her political foes.

"If I wanted to do a tit-for-tat, I could teach the opposition parties a proper lesson in their own language," she warned.

Refering to the Samajwadi Party, which she regards as her worst political foe, she remarked, "In view of their blatant hobnobbing with big business houses, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's birthday could be observed as dalaal diwas (broker's day)."

"In the same order, BJP leaders could easily qualify to have their birthdays be termed as dhokadhari diwas (cheating day), considering the manner in which the party had been deceiving all and sundry including our party," she sought to point out.

"But instead of such cheap retorts, we decided to stage dignified protests in each of UP's 403 state assembly constituencies as well as in several other parts of the country where our partymen would hold demonstrations to mark their condemnation of the entire opposition tirade against me," she said.

These demonstrations, organised by BSP volunteers, under the leadership of local level leaders has been termed as virodhi party dhikkar diwas (condemnation of opposition parties). "I have asked my party workers to also expose the misdeeds of past SP, BJP and Congress governments on this occasion", she added.

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow