Uttar Pradesh Congress has pooled in all its resources to make Rahul Gandhi’s programme in Ambedkar Nagar on Wednesday a success even as Chief Minister, Mayawati went all out to stamp her authority through the Bahujan Samaj Party’s State-wide dharna and demonstration against the women’s reservation bill on the same day. The rival BSP and Congress political programmes coincide with Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar’s 119th birth anniversary celebrations.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister would visit the Ambedkar Memorial in Lucknow on Wednesday for paying floral tributes to the leader. Thereafter, Ms. Mayawati is likely to conduct an aerial survey of the BSP’s dharna and demonstration at the district headquarters. BSP sources here were tight-lipped on whether the Chief Minister would address a rally at a place of her choice.

In what is emerging as a trial of strength between the BSP and the Congress with both the parties focusing on the Dalits , sources said directives have been given to the party coordinators to ensure that a strong presence of the BSP is registered at all the district headquarters.

With the BSP and the Congress locked in a struggle of dominance in Uttar Pradesh, almost all the senior Congress leaders have camped in Ambedkar Nagar to ensure the success of Mr. Gandhi’s rally. The chief spokesman of UP Congress Committee, Subodh Srivastava said here on Tuesday that the PCC chief, Rita Bahuguna Joshi has been camping in Ambedkar Nagar since the last three days. “ Over the past three days Dr. Joshi has visited several villages and development blocks in Ambedkar Nagar and the neighbouring Faizabad, Basti districts to gather support for Mr. Gandhi’s rally and the party’s programme in the State”, Mr. Srivastava said.

Much significance has been attached to the choice of Ambedkar Nagar for the Congress General Secretary’s public meeting and the launch of 10 yatras to mark 125 years of the Congress The yatras will criss-cross through 403 Assembly segments and about 1200 development blocks.

Formerly Akbarpur, Ambedkar Nagar was earlier part of Faizabad district. Famous for its handloom weaving industry, Akbarpur was created a new district and renamed Ambedkar Nagar by Ms. Mayawati during her first stint as Chief Minister.

Akbarpur has also served as Ms. Mayawati’s political burrough. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has been elected thrice to Lok Sabha from Akbarpur (reserved ) constituency in 1998, 1999 and 2004.

More importantly, Ambedkar Nagar has a sizeable population of Dalits.

Since the yatras will mark 125 years of the Congress, the coordinators of the party campaign and the leaders have been directed by the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi to highlight the achievement of the UPA Government with special attention to be given to RTI, MNREGA, Right to Education and Women’s Reservation Bill.