Former chief minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati on Tuesday said that a final decision about the outside support to Congress-led UPA government would be taken at the national executive meeting tomorrow.
Addressing a rally in Lucknow at sprawling Rama Bai grounds, Mayawati avoiding any harsh measure against Congress-led UPA government, largely targeted the SP government during her nearly 75-minute speech for rampant corruption and increasing law and order problem.
In fact more than the performance of the UPA government, Mayawati attacked the SP’s six-month-old government headed by Akhilesh Yadav.
Playing the caste card deftly Mayawati said that along with Dalits and backward classes, Brahmins and Muslims had also turned up in large number at the rally, thereby indicating that migration of Muslims and Brahmins, who had deserted the party, has started.
Harsh tone and tenor of Mayawati against SP government was seemingly aimed at keeping the Dalit cadre well oiled in UP.
Predicting that the Lok Sabha election could be held before 2014, Mayawati geared up the cadre to take on the SP government. With Tuesday’s rally she also announced commencement of election campaign for the Lok Sabha.
While slamming Akhilesh Yadav's government for its failure on all fronts, Mayawati said “if there are positive results in favour of farmers and poor people, the party could even think of welcoming the FDI”. But “not now”, said Mayawati adding that hike in prices of diesel, petrol and quota system in LPG had badly affected the poor people.
The former chief minister said that UPA government could not shirk its responsibility of plight of the people.
The BSP chief enumerated in details the failures of SP government during the last six months. Calling UP as “crime state” under SP government she said loot, dacoity, murder, rape and kidnapping had assumed serious dimension in UP.
While assailing the SP government for canceling holiday on October 9, which her government had announced in memory of Kanshi Ram’s death anniversary, Mayawati dubbed the government as “anti-Dalit”.
She said her government did not harm memorials constructed in the name of SP icon-Ram Manohar Lohia, but now Dalit memorials were being targeted.
Mayawati also accused the Congress and BJP for hobnobbing with the SP during last assembly election to dislodge her from power.
While pointing out that Akhilesh Yadav government has scrapped pro-poor programmes launched by her government, Mayawati said that benefits of unemployment allowance, Kanya Vidya Dhan were largely aimed at benefiting the SP cadre in the state.
Mayawati said even though Muslim community had largely supported the SP in the last election, the state government has failed to protect the community’s interest.
She said outbreak of around 18 communal violence during the last six months had amply indicated the government’s seriousness in safeguarding the community. “There was no riot during my regime”, she said.
Mayawati also criticized Congress for not doing enough on reservation for Dalits in promotions. She was equally harsh on Mulayam Singh Yadav for his stand in Parliament on the issue. She said that only Yadavs were being promoted and given important posts in UP.
Mayawati also extended support to tribal march from MP/Chattisgarh to Delhi demanding proper rehabilitation in forest areas. She said Dalit and Tribals should join hands to become key players in formation of the government at the center.
Hundreds and thousands of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers and supporters from all over the country tropped into the state capital Tuesday to join the Maha Dalit Sankalp rally at the Rama Bai grounds in Lucknow.
The entire city has been painted in blue, the party colour and all roads seem to be leading to the rally venue.
While massive security arrangements have been made by the state government to ensure smooth passage of the rally, the party on its own has deployed its manpower at vantage points like the railway stations and bus stands to guide and secure safe movement of the party workers.
Buntings, hoardings, gigantic balloons and posters have covered the roads that lead to the rally venue. Many woman were seen carrying large cutouts and pictures of BSP chief Mayawati.
Ten trains were booked by the party to ferry supporters and were welcomed at the Charbagh railway station.
Special welcome desks have been set up at the railway station to guide the incoming party workers. Supporters of Maywati have come in from Maharashtra, Odisha, Haryana, New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.
Besides, all party legislators have been asked to ensure maximum participation from their constituencies.
The state unit is supervising all preparations.
While many had thought that the rally might pale in contrast to her earlier ones when Mayawati was in power, the multitude that has so far turned up in the state capital does not indicate any erosion of her support base.
Inspector General of Police (Law and order) BP Singh said that adequate security arrangements have been made to ensure that the rally passes peacefully.
Traffic has also been diverted at many places and many schools have declared a holiday.
The Akhilesh Yadav government cancelled the public holiday Oct 9 which the earlier Mayawati government had announced for the death anniversary of BSP founder Kanshiram.
Mayawati is likely to announce her future relation with the Congress-led UPA government at the rally.
(with agency inputs)