On the first visit to her constituency,Rae Bareli,after Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections,Congress president Sonia Gandhi had to face protests from volunteers of India Against Corruption (IAC),who were sitting on dharna outside the Firoz Gandhi College,where Sonia was to lay foundation for road projects.
The volunteers tried to stop her cavalcade shouting slogans like Lokpal Bill pass karao,warna Sonia vapas jao. Sonia was able to reach the venue after the police intervened.
However,after Sonia left the venue,Congress workers entered into a scuffle with the IAC volunteers alleging that they were using abusive words against Congress leaders. They were using abusive language against Sonia and Rahul. They were calling Rahul chor. How could one tolerate it, alleged one of the Congress workers.
Archana Srivastava,an IAC volunteer,who was leading the protest denied these allegations. She told The Indian Express: We were protesting peacefully and were only demanding that the Lokpal Bill should be cleared,but soon after Sonia left,Congress workers came here and vandalised our stage. They also beat our volunteers badly and the police remained mute spectator. We are not going to be affected with their threats and will continue with our protests here. The volunteers had constructed a temporary stage with posters and banners of Anna Hazare,in front of the venue,where Sonia was to address the public.
Earlier in the day,while laying the foundation for two roads projects on National Highway 24 B,she announced new projects for Uttar Pradesh especially Rae Bareli to ensure development of the area. She began her address by aplogising for not being regular in her visits to the region in the recent past and cited personal reasons for the same.
She also said that the Centre has sanctioned about Rs 600 crore for four-laning of Lucknow- Rae Bareli road and Rs 300 crore for Rae Bareli-Allahabad road.
From the dais,she requested Union Road,Transport and Highways Minister CP Joshi to ensure completion of the roads as soon as possible in view of the Mahakumbh that would take place in Allahabad next year.
Talking about the initiatives taken by the Centre for betterment of education in the state,she said that model schools will be constructed in every block and 148 schools have already been approved in the first phase. She also announced a girls college in Rae Bareli in the name of Indira Gandhi and a central school in Bhaccharawan area of the district.