Choose me as Uttar Pradesh CM for my ‘untarnished image’, says BSP chief Mayawati | assembly-elections$uttarpradesh-2017 | Hindustan Times
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Choose me as Uttar Pradesh CM for my ‘untarnished image’, says BSP chief Mayawati

Pitching the BSP as the only one capable of stopping the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, former chief minister Mayawati urged the people to prefer a “bedaagi chehra” (untarnished image) like hers over that of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, whom she described as the “daagi” face of the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance.

assembly elections Updated: Mar 06, 2017 06:52 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
BSP chief Mayawati addresses an election rally in Lucknow on Tuesday.
BSP chief Mayawati addresses an election rally in Lucknow on Tuesday.(PTI)

Pitching the Bahujan Samaj Party as the only one capable of stopping the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, former chief minister Mayawati on Tuesday urged the people to prefer a “bedaagi chehra” (untarnished image) like hers over that of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, whom she described as the “daagi” face of the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance.

“Only my government can stop the BJP as well as act against ‘Sapa ke gundey’ (criminal elements in the SP),” the four-time former chief minister, who is desperately eyeing a Dalit-Muslim combine to ride to power, said at a party rally on Lucknow’s outskirts.

Like the BJP and the SP-Congress alliance that have promised the moon to the voters, Maya too joined the ‘sop’ opera, promising loan waiver of up to Rs 1 lakh to the poor, release of innocent people behind bars, fruits, eggs, milk and cake to school students as part of the mid-day meal, cash to poor meritorious students and a traders’ commission.

Having faced flak over her focus on memorials to Dalit icons during her previous regime, she reiterated that ‘Mission Memorial’ was over and this time she will focus wholeheartedly on development and security of poor, women, Dalits and minorities.

The BSP chief played on the family feud in the ruling Samajwadi Party, targeted the ‘jumlebaaz’ (tall-talking) Narendra Modi government over demonetisation, questioned the BJP’s moral right on Hindu exodus and said that unlike the “shift in the alliance’s Muslim vote”, her Dalit vote base was intact.

“By voting for the SP-Congress alliance, Muslims will waste their vote as chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav’s lobby are working against each other. The BJP is so weak as it has been unable to project a chief minister,” she said.

In all her rallies, Mayawati has been regularly raising the issue of the family feud in the hope that Muslim voters will end up voting for her.

Her aggressive anti-BJP pitch too is aimed at attracting the Muslim vote, say experts. That is why she has focused on triple talaq, uniform civil code and Muslim personal law -- issues where some All India Muslim Personal Law Board members suspect the intentions of the BJP.

Mayawati also questioned the BJP’s claim on exodus from Uttar Pradesh, even as she hit out at the Modi government on demonetisation.

“The BJP lacks moral right to raise the issue of ‘Hindu exodus’ as the Modi government’s demonetisation has forced widespread exodus,” she said amid applause.

To connect with Dalits, Maya raised the issue of the “flogging case in Gujarat’s Una”, Rohith Vemula’s suicide, besides claiming that Dalits will lose reservation under the BJP.

“Both Muslims and Dalits need to be wary of the RSS agenda that is targeted to embarrass you in the name of gau raksha (cow protection), love jihad, culture and deshbhakti (patriotism),” she said.