A day after the Supreme Court restrained political parties from seeking votes in the name of religion or caste, BSP president Mayawati on Tuesday unveiled her plan to woo all castes in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
Addressing a press conference in the state unit office of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mayawati said: “Rival parties allege that the BSP cares only for Dalits. I wish to make it clear that BSP works on the formula of ‘sarvjan hitay’ (welfare of all communities). This philosophy reflects in ticket distribution as well.”
Releasing ticket distribution data, she said, “I have given tickets to 87 Dalits, 97 Muslims, 106 other backward castes and 113 upper castes candidates. The names will be released after the announcement of poll schedule by the Election Commission (EC).”
When asked if the releasing this data was a violation of the apex court order, Mayawati said she respected the court’s order.
She called upon Muslims, who constitute 18% of the population, not to waste their vote by supporting the Samajwadi Party.
“The ruling party is embroiled in a family feud and votes will be divided in Shivpal and Akhilesh factions which will ultimately benefit the BJP,” she said.
“Yadavs constitute merely 6% while Dalits form 25% of the state’s population. The winning combination of Dalits and Muslims can bring BSP to power,” she said.
“BSP cares for upper caste and other backward castes voters and has given ticket according to their support to the party. The upper caste and OBC candidates will get the support of their brethren in respective constituencies,” she added.
A political observer, RK Gautam, said Mayawati was planning to grab power in UP with the same social engineering formula (winning support of Dalit- Brahmin-OBC) that brought BSP to power in the 2007 assembly elections.
Among the upper castes, Brahmins have been given the lion’s share of 66 tickets followed by Thakurs (36) and Kayasthas (11).
Upper caste and backward candidates have been given a large share of the seats to counter the BJP’s onslaught.
She also launched an attack against demonetisation asking BJP leaders to disclose their bank account information publically and announce the amount of recovery of black money from the note ban to the public.