Even as Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati was expecting to address at least 2,000 people at her public meeting here on Saturday, Ranchi had a surprise waiting for her — a thin attendance of supporters.
An upset Mayawati made no effort to hide her dismay.
Addressing the 300-odd gathering and rows of empty chairs, she said more people could not reach the venue because of a "fictitious bandh" and wrapped up the speech in just 20 minutes.
Though short, she packed her speech with anti-government rhetoric and exhorted the gathering to vote for her party for a change.
She blamed successive political parties, who ruled the state for the "underdevelopment" of Jharkhand.
The UP's Opposition leader also blamed the people for not electing the "right representatives".
"You are also responsible. We are not sending the right parties and right representatives to the Assembly and the Parliament to work for the development of Jharkhand," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said while addressing an election meeting for the Ranchi Lok Sabha seat.
In her address, Mayawati said it was her party which had demanded a special category state status for Jharkhand in the Parliament, but it was not taken note of by parties ruling at the Centre and the state.
"The BSP is secular and balanced. It doesn't believe in winning elections on communal manifestos like others in the country. We are prepared for the polls," Mayawati said.
Appealing for votes, she added the BSP was a development-driven party.
"The party gave the poor jobs and houses in UP. Give us the opportunity here," she said.
"Several parties have governed Jharkhand. You have experienced their work. Now, give a chance to the BSP and see what it does for you," she added.
Attacking the successive state governments here, Mayawati said after the formation of Jharkhand, the state of affairs has worsened.
Speaking about the low turnout, Mayawati blamed the poor attendance on a "fictitious" Jharkhand bandh which prevented supporters from reaching the venue.
"People couldn't make it to Shahid Maidan to hear me as a bandh was called by some regional parties and also a national party," she added.
With agency inputs