"I hold the master key to power," thundered Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati at an election rally in Agra on Tuesday in which she blasted Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
Chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati gestures as she addresses an election rally at Sitapur, near Lucknow. India's biggest state, Uttar Pradesh, will be choosing its state assembly in elections starting next week. AP/Saurabh Das
Addressing thousands at Kothi Meena Bazar ground in Agra, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief called
upon Agra's Dalits to vote for her if they wanted a Dalit to remain at the helm of affairs.
Calling Rahul Gandhi a "Yuvraj", she said: "If you vote for the Congress, all the poor and unemployed would have to go to other states to earn their livelihood."
A victory of the Samajwadi Party in the ongoing assembly elections would only usher in "goonda, badmash and mafia-run jungle raj", she warned.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), she said, would only bring back communal and feudal politics.
"The state under BSP has been free of communal tensions and people have lived in amity," she said, referring to the five years since 2007 when the BSP took power on its own.
In her 50-minute speech, she made fun of the claims of other political outfits.
She accused the Congress-led central government of creating hurdles in Uttar Pradesh's development.
"The high court benches in Meerut and Agra have to be cleared by the centre. Many of our financial problems are the result of centre's lack of support," Mayawati charged.
Ending her speech on an emotive note, Mayawati said: "If you want a Dalit ki beti (Dalit's daughter) as your chief minister again, vote for the BSP."
And she added to thunderous applause: "Today I hold the master key to power."
Mayawati said the BSP did not believe in election manifestos.
She warned that small shopkeepers and businessmen would be without work if the Congress allowed foreign direct investment in retail sector.
Mayawati said the Election Commission had hurt the feelings of Dalits by ordering the covering up of elephant statues across Uttar Pradesh because the animal was the election symbol of her party.
And in a mocking tone, she thanked the media for giving the elephants and her party so much publicity for free.
In 2007, the BSP won six of nine seats in Agra district.