Mayawati hits out at BJP, Congress on special status to Andhra Pradesh
Polls for 125 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats will be held on April 11. As part of the alliance, the BSP will contest three Lok Sabha and 21 assembly seats.Updated: Apr 04, 2019 07:47 IST
Bahujan Samaj Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati on Wednesday hit out against both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress at a press conference in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.
The BSP supremo is on a two-day tour in Andhra Pradesh to campaign for Jana Sena Party headed by film star Pawan Kalyan, who forged an alliance with the BSP, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) to contest the polls in the state.
Polls for 125 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats will be held on April 11. As part of the alliance, the BSP will contest three Lok Sabha and 21 assembly seats.
Mayawati criticised Congress manifesto released on Tuesday and said the party is not sincere in implementing its pre-election promises. “When Indira Gandhi was alive, she came up with ‘Garibi Hatao’ slogan and introduced 20-point formula for eradication of poverty. Has the poverty been eradicated in the country?” said Mayawati.
She said both BJP and Congress duped people by making tall promises, including granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh, which they had not yet fulfilled. “In 2014, Narendra Modi had promised to ensure that ₹15 lakh would be deposited in every bank account of the poor people. But he never bothered to fulfil the promise. Now, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is promising that every bank account would get ₹72,000 per year under minimum income guarantee scheme. We are not sure whether he will fulfil his promise,” she said, adding, both had failed to award special category status to Andhra.
When asked whether she would choose to become PM, the BSP chief said, “Let the elections be over first. The PM candidate will be decided only after elections.” She also expressed confidence that if their alliance were voted to power, Kalyan would become the CM of the state.
In turn, the actor-politician said he wanted to see Mayawati as prime minister. “If a chaiwala can become PM and if a chowkidar wants to continue as the PM, we want to see a lonely woman and lonely fighter for a social purpose as the PM,” Kalyan said.
A day after the Congress released its manifesto, BJP president Amit Shah kept up the party’s attack on it in two public rallies at Udhampur, Jammu and Dehradun, Uttarakhand on Wednesday.
The manifesto has promised to construct a more liberal political order, with checks on state power, including dropping the sedition law, reviewing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), holding police and district administrations accountable for negligence in case of riots and hate crimes and bringing in a law on privacy, among other things.
Lashing out at Congress’s promise to remove the anti-sedition law, Shah asked Gandhi not to “stoop so low for the politics of vote”. He also slammed Congress for promising to revoke AFSPA which gives special powers to the armed forces saying the party was not bothered about safety of the country’s security personnel.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters in Delhi that the Congress manifesto is not in national interest and indirectly helps terrorists.
“If elected to office, we promise to decriminalise those laws that should be civil violations, including defamation, and to delete the British Raj-era ‘sedition’ law that governments too often abuse,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi reiterated in a blog post on a social media platform on Wednesday.