Mayawati rides on hope, Kanshi Ram’s name
Invoking the memory of her political mentor, the late Kanshi Ram, Mayawati on Saturday called upon people to vote for her party in the January 30 Punjab assembly polls.india Updated: Jan 22, 2012 01:18 IST
Invoking the memory of her political mentor, the late Kanshi Ram, Mayawati on Saturday called upon people to vote for her party in the January 30 Punjab assembly polls.
“It was Babu Kanshi Ram’s wish that our party rules Punjab,” the BSP chief said at a rally at Kharar in Mohali district. “We fulfilled his desire four times in Uttar Pradesh.”
Though Punjab was the home state of BSP founder Kanshi Ram and has a 29% SC population — the highest among all states — the party drew a blank here in the 2002 and 2007 polls.
It may not be easy going for the party this time too, with the BSP rejecting an offer of alliance with the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP)-led Sanjha Morcha. The party is going it alone in all 117 constituencies.
In the 1996 Lok Sabha polls, the BSP got three seats in alliance with the SAD.
The party had nine MLAs — its highest-ever tally — in the Punjab assembly during 1992-1997 (the SAD had boycotted the 1992 assembly polls).
Mayawati, however, claimed on Saturday that the Congress and SAD-BJP faced dissidence and a split in their votes would benefit the BSP.
‘This is a golden opportunity to attain power in Punjab,” she said. “No party — Congress, BJP or any other — in the state have delivered the goods to the sarva samaj (common masses).”
At another rally in Nawanshahr town, Mayawati said while other parties wooed Dalits after Independence through “hollow promises”, the BSP government in UP initiated several schemes in education, employment, health and welfare not just for Dalits but for “all downtrodden sections”.
Targeting the Congress, she attacked the UPA for not doing enough to curb “price rise”.
She said the Centre’s “wrong policies” had adversely affected the common man.
Countering Congress allegations that her recent sacking of ministers was an act of desperation, she said, “We have ensured our party candidates have a clean image and are working for the development of people.”
She said the EC’s move to cover elephant statues in UP and the media coverage of the issue had only heightened the popularity of the BSP’s poll symbol.