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Gift me UP, Mayawati tells cadre on her 61st birthday

BSP chief Mayawati, who turned 61 on Sunday, opted for a low-key birthday but asked for a big gift from the party cadre – a UP win in the February-March poll.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2017 19:01 IST
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati addresses a press conference on her 61st birthday in Lucknow on Sunday.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati addresses a press conference on her 61st birthday in Lucknow on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

BSP chief Mayawati, who turned 61 on Sunday, opted for a low-key birthday but asked for a big gift from the party cadre – a UP win in the February-March poll.

She dismissed the likely alliance between Samajwadi Party (Akhilesh Yadav faction), Congress and possibly RLD as of no consequence and pitched BSP as the only political alternative capable of stopping the BJP in UP.

In a bid to attract Muslims, Mayawati said neither the divided SP (torn between uncle-nephew feud) nor a SP-Congress alliance would be able to stop the BJP.

“Only BSP is capable of stopping the BJP from winning UP. A UP loss would unnerve BJP and stop its top leadership from taking anti-people decisions like demonetisation that has caused 150 deaths across the country so far,” she said while addressing party cadre at the BSP office here.

Asking the BJP leaders to probe the financial status of 300 top politicians of the country, including those from the BJP, she accused the Modi government of harassing her and her family and said the currency ban would result in BJP losing UP.

“The BJP top leaders who are so interested in knowing how much I have gained financially should also reveal the financial status of BJP and other top leaders after comparing their status before they came into politics and after,” she said.

Read | With election code of conduct in place, Mayawati’s birthday to be low-key affair

“The BJP that came to power at the centre on ‘achche din’ promise should be ready for ‘burey din’ (bad days) after it loses in UP,” she said.

Targeting Samajwadi Party’s Muslim votes, the four-time UP chief minister flayed chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, whom she described as a ‘discredited leader’ under whose leadership the state witnessed Muzaffarnagar riots.

She also deftly played the Dalit card to counter the BJP’s attempt to target her base vote. “Rohith Vemula case, Una incident and the Dayashankar Singh case are still fresh in the mind of the people,” she said.

Vemula, a Dalit scholar, had committed suicide under mysterious circumstances. Mayawati had dashed to Gujarat after the public flogging of Dalits in Una come to light. Mayawati had also used the derogatory remark passed against her by expelled BJP leader Dayashankar Singh as proof of BJP’s “upper caste mentality and anti-Dalit bias.”

Dismissing opinion polls and surveys that showed BJP gaining in UP as work of a ‘managed media’ she listed works that she would undertake when she wins UP.

“Not only would all policies and programmes that were stopped after BSP lost power be restarted but my government would also order inquiry into all big financial deals of the Akhilesh government,” she said.

She, however, reiterated that her government won’t construct memorials for Dalit icons like she did during her previous regime. The mass construction of memorials during her previous term as CM had come in for sharp criticism from her rivals.

Read | Mayawati’s UP election strategy: Focus on note ban, SP family feud

“That project is over now. My government’s motto would be ‘sarvajan hitaiy, sarvajan sukhaiy’ and special focus would be on development, especially for the poor, weaker sections, minorities, Dalits and the oppressed,” she said.

Claiming that there was a tacit understanding between BJP and SP, Mayawati questioned as to why the centre, which kept talking of poor law and order in UP, didn’t dismiss the Samajwadi Party government.