BSP hopes to bag 10 pc seats in K'nataka
Mayawati addressing a huge gathering in Kollegal, 160 km from Bangalore, talks about social engineering and promise to do a UP in Karnataka in the Assembly polls.Updated: May 06, 2008, 01:02 IST
‘Akka’ Mayawati showed why major parties in Karnataka are nervous about her BSP contesting all 224 Assembly seats this time. A crowd of more than 5,000 people sat under the hot sun for over three hours at the college ground in Kollegal, 160 km from Bangalore, to hear Mayawati talk about social engineering and promise to do a UP in Karnataka.
“Do not believe the false propaganda by the Congress in this state that a vote for the BSP will only help the BJP. It is a ploy to divide the BSP vote... We have proved in UP how the BSP won the confidence of all sections though our we initially started to fight for bahujan samaj,” she said.
The meeting and the manner in which the crowds from three nearby districts gathered, arriving even on rooftops of public transport buses, demonstrated the BSP’s growing presence in Karnataka.
“We have no illusions about capturing this power. Our aim is only to win 10 per cent of the votes and 10 per cent of the seats so the balance of power will rest with us,” BSP’s Kollegal candidate N. Mahesh told HT.
The delimitation has also thrown up 16 new SC/ST seats that has made the BSP factor that much more relevant. It perhaps also prompted former JD-S MLAs like Parimala Nagaraja (Hanur) and DT Jayakumar (Chamudeswari) to jump on to the BSP bandwagon once they became unsure of which way the Dalit vote would swing.
Mahesh, also the state general secretary, said the BSP has refused to fall into the reverse Manuwadi trap by fighting only for Dalits, which alienated other communities. “In Kollegal we stopped Dalits from filing false cases of harassment... This has earned the BSP the respect of other communities like Lingayats, Brahmins and Nayakkas.”