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Mayawati snatches Amethi from the Gandhis
LUCKNOW, JUL 2 (Agencies):
Published on 2 Jul. 2010 11:29 PM IST
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Of all the challenges that Mayawati has thrown at the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, this one may be the most astute. In an attempt to erase the First Family’s imprint on Amethi, the chief minister has rechristened the political fiefdom of Rahul Gandhi as Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Nagar, reports Economic Times.
Even if it comes to power in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress cannot risk trifling with the name of the district, as it would carry a huge political penalty. Shahuji Maharaj, the 19th century ruler of Kolhapur, was the pioneer in granting job reservation to Dalits. In fact, he created an enabling environment for social reformers such as Jyotiba Phule and BR Ambedkar.
The new district will be carved out of three tehsils of Sultanpur district, Amethi, Gauriganj, Musafir Khana, and two tehsils of Rae Bareli, Salon and Tiloi. The Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency is represented by Sonia Gandhi, and along with Amethi and Sultanpur constituencies, comprises the famous Gandhi bastion.
Reacting to the development, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, notwithstanding whatever steps the Uttar Pradesh government has taken, Amethi has and would always remain intrinsically connected to the Nehru-Gandhi family for their selfless contribution.
In December 2002, when BSP controlled the state, Ms Mayawati had made the first attempt to rename the district. Addressing a rally in Amethi, she announced her government’s decision to rename the constituency, then represented by Sonia Gandhi.
The district came into existence with Gauriganj as its headquarters six days after Ms Mayawati made the announcement.
However, her successor Mulayam Singh Yadav scrapped the decision in his very first Cabinet meeting.
A writ petition challenging the Yadav government’s move was filed immediately in the Lucknow bench of the high court by Uma Shankar Pandey. The court in March 2010 directed the petitioner to submit his case before the state government, which was asked to take a final view on the issue within three months.
This paved the way for the Mayawati government’s action. Ms Mayawati was also swift in appointing the district magistrate of the newly-born district, and sent IAS officer Jagdish Prasad to the post.

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