Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley kicked off his Varanasi campaign late on Wednesday evening at Rohania, attacking the BSP, SP and Congress for "divisive" politics on the grounds of caste and religion, adding that this was a time when UP needed to adopt the vocabulary of development.
"In the last eight years, there was competition for governance among states, in terms of investment, industry and development work," Jaitley said. "While states were competing with one another on these grounds, one state, Gujarat, seemed to be competing with China in terms of growth. While there has been a turnaround in neighbouring Bihar under the NDA, UP has faced the politics of goonda raj in 3.5 years of SP government and corruption under the BSP in the last five years."
He attacked Mayawati over her parks, saying, "There is no problem in statues of "mahapurush" (great leaders) being built, but mahapurush come from all sections of society. She discriminated even between Mahapurush to divide society."
Jaitley also went on to attack the Congress. "This was a time for a new agenda in UP, just like in Bihar in 2005 when the NDA came to power. But the Congress began playing divisive politics here. Eighty out of the about 2,100 OBC castes were Muslim, and yet the Congress decided that it would take away 33% from the OBC quota to give it to minorities on grounds of religion."
He added: "I want to tell our candidates and workers we should be correct in telling the true picture: 9% taken out for minorities from the 27% quota of OBCs means 33% of the OBC quota is being taken away."