In a bid to ensure victory for her Muslim and Brahmin candidates, BSP chief Mayawati Thursday asked her core Dalit supporters not to think about the party’s nominees but only her while casting their votes. She asked them to vote for “your Behenji… Dalit varg ki beti (dalit’s daughter)”.
The BSP has fielded maximum numbers of Brahmins (21) and Muslims (19) among the four major parties in the state.
“Opposition parties’ leaders will tell you that there is a Muslim candidate or a Brahmin candidate (of BSP), but I would like to tell the Dalits that if the party wins these seats it will be a victory not for a Muslim or a Brahmin, but it will be Mayawati’s victory,” she said while addressing a rally in Kanpur for the party candidates from Kanpur and Akbarpur seats. The BSP has fielded Salim Ahmed, a Muslim, from Kanpur and former MP Anil Shukla Warsi, a Brahmin, from neighbouring Akbarpur seat.
“I would like to tell our Dalit supporters of Kanpur that whether these candidates come to your area seeking your votes or not, but you have to vote for BSP thinking that you are fighting this election for your Behenji. Don’t think about these candidates… victory will bring fame not only to these candidates, but it will also increase the stature of your Dalit varg ki beti. You have to strengthen your Behenji so that a Dalit’s daughter can also become Prime Minister,” she told a gathering, largely of Dalits and Muslims, at Ramlila Maidan here.
Akbarpur goes to polls on April 24, while Kanpur will vote on April 30.
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The former UP chief minister asked Muslims to vote for BSP and not to “waste their votes on Congress or Samajwadi Party as these parties are not in a position to stop BJP from capturing power at the Centre”.
“Dalits have the strength of 2 to 2.50 lakh in every constituency. BSP is also getting support from some backward classes and some upper castes. If Muslim community wants to stop BJP from coming to power, it should not divide its vote and vote only for the BSP,” she said.
Targeting BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi, she said the country’s harmony would be in danger if Modi comes to power.
A large crowd of Muslims had gathered to listen to her, but Mohammad Javed, a shopkeeper, said they came here because Salim’s good relations with the community. He, however, said, “But Muslims are not going to vote for a single party here. Some will vote for Congress’s Sriprakash Jaiswal(Union Coal Minister), some for Salim and some for Aam Aadmi Party’s Dr Mahmood Rahmani.”