Mayawati wins case, robs Gandhis of brand Amethi
Published: Thursday, Sep 2, 2010, 2:38 IST
By Deepak Gidwani | Place: Lucknow | Agency: DNA

Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Amethi is once again caught in political
crossfire between the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

On Wednesday, while the Congress leader on a three-day tour of Amethi
assured two sisters, allegedly hounded by BSP-supported land-grabbers,
of all support, the Mayawati government won a legal battle over

It got an all-clear from the apex court to its decision to rename the
Nehru-Gandhi family’s VIP borough after BSP icon Chhatrapati Shahuji
Maharaj. Shahuji was a 19th century ruler of Kolhapur known as a
pioneer in granting reservations to the deprived in employment.

Onlookers at Sarwan village in Amethi were stunned as the two sisters
from Lucknow, Shivani and Sonia Chauhan, browbeat the special
protection group (SPG) security ring to bring Rahul’s motorcade to a
halt. The women, wailing in grief, narrated their story to a patient
Rahul who played the good samaritan, assuring them justice.

The sisters’ tale of woes took on political connotations as Shivani
Chauhan alleged that BSP-backed goons were helping her family members,
including her brother, to grab her parental property. “I have been
framed in false cases and sent to jail twice,” she screamed before TV
cameras after Rahul’s cavalcade left.

“If they want to kill me, let them do it once and for all instead of
harassing us with false criminal cases, threats and attacks,” she

Shivani and her sister told reporters that they had also met Priyanka
and Sonia Gandhi on separate occasions last year, after which the case
had been handed over to CB-CID and they finally got a clean chit. “But
even now the police are siding with the land-grabbers… on August 15, I
was beaten up… I suffered head injuries but the police did nothing,”
Shivani said. “I even met Behnji (Mayawati) but she spurned me saying
‘you are from the opposite party’,” she added.

Even as the sisters hurled the allegations, Mayawati virtually squared
the score with Rahul as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the state
government’s decision to rename and reorganise Amethi as part of a new
district called Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar. The Lucknow bench
of the Allahabad high court had recently struck down the Mayawati
government’s decision to that effect, saying the reorganisation could
not be done as the census was in progress.

Sources say the SC decision was conveyed to Mayawati while she was
addressing a meeting of top BSP leaders in Lucknow. The BSP leader,
the sources shared, could barely suppress her joy and told party
leaders that justice had finally been done. She reportedly touted it
as a major moral victory in BSP’s political battle against the


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