To garner minority votes and keep intact her traditional vote bank, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Tuesday raised the contentious issues of reservation and atrocities on minorities and Dalits during her Ghaziabad election rally on Tuesday.
In a speech sprinkled with examples of atrocities against Dalits, she highlighted the issues of research scholar Rohit Vemula’s suicide, atrocities on Dalits in Una in Gujarat and comments made by BJP leader Daya Shanker Singh.
She told the gathering that just naming some memorials after Dalit icon Dr BR Ambedkar and having food with Dalits will not serve BJP’s purpose in UP.
“The BJP is dreaming of coming to power in UP. Under the present BJP government at the Centre, there has been exploitation of Dalits, minorities and backward classes in a number of cases. This government is even trying to do away with reservation and other legal rights for such groups on the basis of the RSS agenda. Not only this, the BJP, in states ruled by it, has not arranged for reservation in jobs in private sectors and has assigned most of the work to the private sector,” Mayawati said.
Trying to woo the Muslim vote bank, she said the minorities have been targeted in the name of ‘gau raksha’ (cattle protection), ‘love jihad’, ‘deshbhakti’ (patriotism) and culture. She also said minorities are being viewed with suspicion when it comes to terrorism.
“It is because of the BJP government that the minorities are facing a stepmotherly and partial treatment. There is also an attempt to take away the minority status of universities such as Aligrah Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia. The BSP is against this. There is interference even in the Muslim personal law and triple talaq in the name of a common civil code. We have raised our concerns and minorities are living in fear and brooding over their safety and security,” she said.
The BSP chief targeted the BJP saying the party was working on the RSS agenda and, as a result, communal forces were strengthened during their previous tenure in UP. She also told the gathering that SP now faces an internal division after a recent family feud.
“The way Mulayam Singh Yadav got entangled in ‘putra moh’ (love for son Akhilesh) and disgraced his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav in public, this will lead to an internal loss. Now, both groups will get busy with infighting and will try to defeat each other. This will lead to a division of their vote bank. So, the vote of minorities, who vote for SP, will be wasted. Instead, they should vote for BSP,” she said.
Mayawati said voters should not get swayed by promises in manifestos and by a biased section of media which allegedly shows BSP getting fewer seats in surveys and opinion polls.
She said that such surveys and opinion polls will fall flat like they did in 2007 when the BSP came to power, despite being projected as getting only a few seats.