Intensifying her campaign in the NCR, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Saturday held two back-to-back rallies in Greater Noida and Ghaziabad —taking on the Congress and the BJP, and trying to consolidate her ‘sarv-samaj’ vote bank comprising Dalits, Muslims, Brahmins, Sikhs and other communities.
A day after the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, appealed to Muslims to support the Congress, Mayawati on Saturday said voting for a weak party would be a waste of time.
Training her guns on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the BSP chief warned that communal riots could engulf Uttar Pradesh and the nation if he came to power at the Centre.
She also termed Modi’s claims of development as hollow.
Invoking the Gujarat riots, she said: “The BJP has declared as its PM candidate a communal person like Narendra Modi, who triggered Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002 in Gujarat to come to power again in that state. If Modi becomes PM, the nation could be engulfed in riots. You will have to stop Modi come what may. Also stop the Congress that has not brought in development in the last 60 years,” said Mayawati.
Mayawati addressed a rally in Sikandrabad in support of her two candidates Satish Awana from Gautam Budh Nagar, and Pradip Jatav, who is fielded from neighbouring Bulandshahr.
She later spoke at a meeting at Kavi Nagar in Ghaziabad where she said that her government would make policies for the ‘sarv-samaj’ (all communities).
Eyeing an important role at the Centre, Mayawati said the Samajwadi party and the Congress were weak political options, unable to fight communal forces like the BJP.
Claiming that only the BSP would ensure a riot-free UP, the former CM urged Muslims and Gujjars not to waste their votes by supporting other parties. “If Muslim and Gujjar votes are distributed among the SP and Congress, the BJP is bound to win. Vote only for the BSP that has power to stop the BJP,” she said.
Referring to the UP riots, she said: “Besides Hindus, Muslims were most affected in the Muzaffarnagar riots. Even the Supreme Court held the SP regime responsible for the violence. Development has taken a backseat because of the riots in UP. If you want an atmosphere which we offered during our regime in 2008-12 in UP, then vote for us so that we emerge as strong force at the Centre,” said Mayawati.