Blowing the poll bugle ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Thursday attacked the Centre as well as the Samajwadi Party-led state government for “failing” on all fronts.
“Dump the SP (Samajwadi Party) and the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in the assembly elections. Not just that, ensure that their candidates forfeit their security deposits,” Mayawati thundered at a public rally held to commemorate the birth anniversary of social reformer Bhim Rao Ambedkar in Lucknow.
She also accused the BJP and the Congress of indulging in theatrics to woo Dalit voters, who traditionally support the BSP.
Speaking to her supporters, the BSP chief expressed confidence that the people would vote against the Akhilesh Yadav government in the upcoming polls, and prevent the Congress from gaining a foothold in the state.
The only way to usher in a society free of corruption and fear was to ensure that the BSP won the upcoming elections with a thumping majority, the former chief minister said. The state can be assured of both law-and-order and development if her party was voted to power, she added.
Mayawati made a reference to deceased University of Hyderabad scholar Rohith Vemula in her address, stating that Dalits should continue their struggle against injustice instead of taking the extreme step. She claimed that while Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi didn’t seem to notice Dalit suicides that occurred during the UPA regime, he was indulging in “theatrics” in the aftermath of Vemula’s death.
The BSP supremo then proceeded to lash out at the Modi government for failing to bring back the black money stashed abroad, as promised during the Lok Sabha elections. The sole intention of the Prime Minister’s foreign trips was to gain publicity at the expense of the exchequer, she alleged.
Mayawati took a serious note of the BJP trying to saffronise academic curricula, and allegedly implementing the RSS agenda in higher educational institutions. The ongoing controversy on shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogans was a non-issue, she said, because there were many other ways of showing one’s patriotism. “We in the BSP say Jai Bheem and Jai Bharat. Some say Jai Hind. It’s not necessary to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, for which BJP is making a big hue and cry,” she added.
The sharpest criticism was reserved for chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who Mayawati said was more interested in organising lavish functions at Saifai and playing matches with officers than toiling for the people. “Officers can ensure your victory in matches, but not in the assembly polls,” she quipped.
The BSP supremo also claimed that her detractors were trying to frame her in a disproportionate assets case, for which a fresh plea was admitted in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.