Varanasi/Lucknow: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday lambasted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for the 'complete misrule' in the state, prompting the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo to accuse the Gandhi family of playing 'cheap politics' in the garb of supporting farmers.

Addressing an impressive public rally at the historic Beniyabagh grounds in Varanasi, Sonia Gandhi said: 'UP is a classic example of total misrule. It is an 'andher nagari', where there is none to listen to your woes.'

"Everyone appears to be involved in plundering the state exchequer and serving his vested interests. There is an anarchy everywhere, misrule is all-pervasive and there is also a conspiracy behind the corruption," she told the gathering of about 30,000 people.

'No one is here to listen to the public. All these things would not be tolerated by the Congress,' she said during her 20-minute speech.

'There was a time when UP used to determine the political destiny of the nation. However, today this state politics is dominated of by politics of caste, creed and  loot,' Sonia Gandhi said.

A combative Sonia Gandhi went about attacking the Mayawati regime for other ills prevailing in the country's most populous state.

Mayawati refutes all allegations


Responding to the charges, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh read out a five-page exhaustive statement issued by Mayawati in Lucknow Thursday evening, giving a point-by-point reply to the allegations levelled by the Congress president and her son Rahul Gandhi in Varanasi during the party's two-day convention.

Rubbishing the charges of 'rape of women' and 'indiscriminate killing of farmers' by the state police, Singh said: 'The Chief Minister is shocked at the baseless and false accusations made by the top Congress leadership, whom one expected to display some responsibility.'

'Before levelling an allegation like rape of women, these senior leaders ought to introspect that they were also maligning women of the area. How would they feel if such allegations were levelled against their own sisters or mothers,' he read out from the chief minister's statement.

Refuting Rahul Gandhi's charge of 'burning dead bodies of farmers who were gunned down by the UP police', Mayawati sought to clarify that the ashes have been confirmed as ashes of cow-dung cakes.

'We had sent samples of the ashes to the Central Forensic Laboratory (CFL), Agra, and we have received a confirmation that they did not contain remains of  human bodies,' Mayawati's statement said.

Speaking at the Congress convention in Varanasi on Wednesday, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said that the plight of the poor and downtrodden in Uttar Pradesh gives enough reason for Mayawati government to go.

Blasting the BSP government for defending the police action against the agitating farmers of Bhatta-Parsaul village in Greater Noida, the Congress scion served notice that the Congress battle he had launched for the farmers would be taken to every village in the state.

'The flame we lit in Bhatta-Parsaul will be carried to every village of the state. We will show the UP government what the Congress is capable of doing for the poor and the downtrodden,' he said.

(Agencies)