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Lok Sabha elections 2019: In swipe at Cong manifesto, Mayawati recalls Indira’s ‘garibi hatao’ slogan

The BSP chief is on a two-day tour of Andhra Pradesh to campaign for Jana Sena Party headed by film star Pawan Kalyan, who forged an alliance with the BSP, CPI and CPI (M).

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 09, 2019 10:37 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Mayawati,Congress,Congress manifesto
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati at a rally in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.(PTI)

The Congress manifesto that pledged to end poverty and halve unemployment has provoked a sharp pushback from the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Wednesday, Bahujan Samaj Party boss Mayawati joined the effort to hammer the Congress manifesto, insisting that the opposition party was already low on credibility due to its history of not keeping its poll promises.

“The Congress has been releasing its manifestos before every election since Independence. But it hardly bothered to implement the promises. When Indira Gandhi was alive, she came up with “Garibi Hatao” (Eradicate poverty) slogan and introduced 20-point formula for eradication of poverty. Has the poverty been eradicated in the country?” Mayawati asked at a press conference at Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam.

The BSP chief is on a two-day tour of Andhra Pradesh to campaign for Jana Sena Party headed by film star Pawan Kalyan, who forged an alliance with the BSP, CPI and CPI (M). She will address a public meeting at Vijayawada later in the evening.

Mayawati bracketed together the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, insisting that both had duped people by making tall promises.

“In 2014, Narendra Modi had promised to ensure that Rs 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 Rs 72,000 per year under minimum income guarantee scheme. We are not sure whether he will fulfil his promise,” she said.

Also read: Mayawati on same page with BJP on Congress’s minimum income promise but there’s a twist

The BJP is yet to release its manifesto for the seven-phase election. And Mayawati made it clear that her party didn’t believe in releasing manifestos.

“We believe in delivering rather than talking. Whenever we got an opportunity to rule Uttar Pradesh, we kept in mind the basic necessities of the people and fulfilled the same,” she said.

Asked why she had not started her campaign in Uttar Pradesh yet, Mayawati said there was no need to worry as only a few seats in the state were going to polls in the first phase.

“We are going to kick-start our campaign in a big way with a massive public meeting on April 7, in which Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh will participate,” she announced.

On the possibility of her emerging as the prime ministerial candidate, the BSP chief said there was no hurry to decide on the PM candidate. “Let the elections be over first. The PM candidate will be decided only after elections,” she said.

Also read:Mayawati makes it clear BSP won’t ally with Congress in any state

Mayawati, however, said the coalition of opposition parties, if it formed the government at the centre after elections, would deliver better governance than what the Congress and the BJP governments had done in the last seven decades. There would be no discrimination against any opposition-ruled states, she said.

“I was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh for four times and we proved that we were much better than the other parties in governance. We addressed the needs of all sections of people irrespective of caste and community. We tried to eradicate unemployment and solve the power crisis for farmers. There were no communal clashes and minorities, especially Muslims, were feeling safe and secure in my regime,” she claimed.

First Published: Apr 03, 2019 13:40 IST

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