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Lok Sabha elections 2019: With his kin by her side, Mayawati campaigns for ‘absconding’ BSP candidate

BSP chief Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav during a joint public rally at Ghosi Lok Sabha constituency in Mau, defending candidate Atul Rai.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 16, 2019 16:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lok Sabha elections 2019,Mayawati campaigns,BSP candidate
Addressing a joint rally with Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav in support of Rai in Mau.(ANI Photo)

Defending her party’s candidate from Ghosi seat Atul Rai, who is missing since May 1 after a woman lodged an FIR in Varanasi accusing him of sexual assault, BSP president Mayawati on Wednesday alleged that the BJP had implicated her party’s candidate in a fake case to defame him.

BSP chief Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav during a joint public rally at Ghosi Lok Sabha constituency in Mau on Wednesday.

Addressing a joint rally with Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav in support of Rai in Mau, Mayawati said: “The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has framed Rai in a fake case to defame him. Without caring for the respect and honour of women, BJP leaders are forcing some women to level false allegations against opposition leaders for political gains.”

Rai had, however, rejected the allegations terming it to be a political conspiracy and added that a fair investigation should be carried out into the case. Fearing arrest, Rai went underground and has not been canvassing since then.Terming charges against Rai as a BJP conspiracy, Mayawati said, “He is a gentleman and an honest person. Rai’s wife, brother and sister are here to seek your vote. Please vote for Rai as it would be a befitting reply to the detractors who have hatched this plan against him.”

Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remark that poverty was his caste, Mayawati said, “The PM has now started harping on his caste. Sometimes he says poverty is his caste, then he says he is a ‘fakir’. As you know, he keeps changing his caste. Don’t be misled by his claims.”“BJP is trying to privatise various government institutions to make reservation ineffective. It is using every tactic to return to power,” she said, terming the promises made by the BJP and the Congress in their poll manifestoes as ‘hawa hawai’ (hollow claims).

At another rally in Deoria, she hit back at the BJP for questioning the durability of the SP- BSP alliance.“The BJP is upset with the huge support to the alliance and that’s why (it is) trying to create a rift between the workers of two parties. But it must be clear to the BJP that its divide and rule policy will not work anymore. The gathbandhan is united , permanent and will continue for long. After ousting Modi from power, we will not sit quiet till we uproot the Yogi Government and send the baba back to (Gorakhpur) Mutt.”

The BSP chief accused Modi of politicising the sacrifices of jawans for electoral gains.

Addressing the rallies, SP president Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of using police against the alliance candidate and said the BJP government could go to any extent to defame others.“The BJP came to power at the Centre by making false promises to the people. Now, the time has come to seek account from the government,” he said.

“The PM does not want to discuss the issues of unemployment, growing debt on the country and demonetisation Therefore, he is trying to divert the attention of the people, Yadav added.

Yadav said unemployment had increased and the debt on the country was continuously going up. “It has increased to Rs 70 lakh crore from Rs 35 lakh crore. The BJP should tell the people why did the debt increase and in whose pocket did the money reach,” he said.

Hitting back at the PM for calling the SP-BSP alliance ‘Mahamilavati’ (adulterated), Yadav said the NDA was an alliance of 38 parties. “The PM should tell whether the BJP, which is a part of the NDA that comprises of 38 parties, is ‘mahamilavati’ or not. What name should be given to the alliance which includes the BJP?” he asked. Akhilesh Yadav attacked chief minister Yogi Adityanath over the BRD Medical College tragedy, which claimed the lives of 66 children due to sudden oxygen supply shortage in 2017, and the stray bull menace.

Yadav said: “Who other than the Baba CM is responsible for the death of children due to nonpayment of bills. Secondly, I don’t know about Gorakhpur, but in Lucknow every day people are injured in bull attacks as the Baba CM has not made proper arrangement for stray cattle. ”

Cautioning people against both the Congress and the BJP, he said, “It should be clear to you that the BJP is the Congress and the Congress is the BJP. Don’t get trapped in lies and false promises made by them.”

First Published: May 16, 2019 13:36 IST

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