UPA failed to protect farmers: Mayawati
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, who attacked the central government for its failure to protect farmers' interests on Sunday urged the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers to prepare for the Punjab assembly elections next year.
At a massive party rally in Chandigarh, one of the most high-tech public rallies the city saw in recent times, the BSP supremo said: "The UPA government has failed to shield the interests of farmers while drafting their land acquisition policies. They have failed to formulate a common policy for all states and farmers are forced to come out on roads to protest."
Her attack came in the wake of recent protests launched by the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in support of the agitation by farmers in Greater Noida over land acquisition.
The violent agitation had led to the killing of four people in Bhatta Parsaul village, an incident that the opposition parties made good use of to take on the Mayawati government.
The chief minister added: "This government has also failed to bring the black money deposited in foreign banks. We appeal them to pass a bill in the parliament to bring this money to India."
The BJP had also failed to bring back the black money during their six-year tenure, she charged.
Despite of the scorching heat, thousands of BSP supporters from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir had gathered at the rally ground.
Six air-conditioners kept the an eight feet by 30 feet stage cool. The make-shift toilet behind the stage had its own air-conditioners.
Mayawati said the BSP will launch countrywide protest against recent petrol price hike.
"The BSP will launch country-wide protest against it from May 31. We will stage a one-day protest demonstration in all districts of Uttar Pradesh Tuesday," the chief minister said.
"Our party is ready for the Punjab elections (in February 2011). We will fight it alone and I am sure that we will come out victorious," she added.
"Our leader Kanshi Ram belonged to Punjab and BSP's victory in this state was his dream. We will put in all effort to fulfill his dream," Mayawati said.
Six wide-screens were set-up at the rally venue, where dozens of fans and water sprinklers comforted the party workers.