A day after the BSPs defeat in the Bhadohi assembly by-election,Chief Minister Mayawati appealed to her partymen to uphold her prestige in the Lok Sabha elections and work as if she was the candidate on all 80 seats of UP.
Mayawati was addressing the national convention of her party,and the defeat in Bhadohi,a reserved constituency,clearly rankled.
Meri ijjat samajhkar chunav ladayenge. Mera sir neecha nahin hone denge (You will work for my prestige. You wont let my head bow), the BSP president said.
There might be grievances over the selection of candidates. But you will forget these grievances for my prestige,you would ensure votes not for the candidates,but for your Behanji, Mayawati said.
The convention,held at the BSP office,was called to discuss the partys preparations for the Lok Sabha elections. It was attended by state unit heads from across the country,parliamentarians,legislators,candidates for Lok Sabha elections,zonal co-ordinators,president of assembly units and senior leaders.
Mayawati began her speech with the defeat in Bhadohi,squarely blaming it on the five leaders she had stationed there for a month before the elections. She said she was unaware of what was happening within the party there at the time. After I reprimanded them,Naseemuddin Siddiqui,Indrajit Saroj (both ministers) and Tribhuwan Dutt (zonal coordinator) told me the story.
Ministers Rangnath Mishra and Rakesh Dhar Tripathi were eyeing the Bhadohi seat for the next assembly elections,she said. Instead of mobilising Brahmin votes,yeh aapas mein ladte rahe: main ladunga,main ladunga, she said.
As for Naseemuddin Siddiqui,Indrajit Saroj and Tribhuwan Dutt,she said,yeh teeno unke bhi guru nikle. They were busy trying to win over the Pasis by countering the influence of the late BSP legislator Archana Sarojs father Ram Nihore Rakesh,who was working against BSP among the Pasis as the party had not given the ticket to his son. They should have communicated the problem to me, she said,inhone socha hum to Behanji se bade ban gaye.
Mayawati said partymen should make efforts to win the maximum number of seats so a BSP government could be formed at the Centre. She cautioned them about small caste and religion-based parties which might become active in the polls to damage the BSP.
She also said the Congress,BJP and their allies,all wanted to check the BSP. A conspiracy is being hatched by the opposition and they can go to any extent but we must be ready to counter their plans. She accused the Opposition of trying to end reservation in government jobs. I want to caution backward communities. Your reservation is in danger. You should stop both coalitions from grabbing power after the election, she said.