A stuttering and clearly nervous Mayawati told an election meeting in Muzaffarnagar on Friday that the only reason she didn’t visit them after last September’s riots was that she had information that the Samajwadi Party would use it to foment more violence, and blame the BSP for it.
“Main aana chahti thi,” Mayawati said at least five times in the course of a 20-minute speech. But she couldn’t, she said, because she had received infomation through “vishesh sutron” (special sources) that the SP would try to twist the visit for political gains.
The BSP chief faces Muslim anger for failing to visit the victims of the violence that left nearly 60 dead and several thousand uprooted from their homes. Friday’s visit was her first to the area since the rioting broke out.
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“I want to tell you that many people are campaigning against me, saying that I did not come to you during the riots, but have come now only to ask for your vote. Main aapko bataana chahti hoon ki main aana chahti thi. But I was told by special sources that the Samajwadi Party had hatched a conspiracy to inflame tensions if I visited Muzaffarnagar. Had I come, more innocents would have been harmed. I did not come so that there could be peace,” she said.
Mayawati said the suspicions of an SP “shadyantra” were confirmed when a “false case” of inciting violence was filed against the BSP MP from Muzaffarnagar, Kadir Rana (who is seeking re-election). “I didn’t come here, but I did meet the President and raised the matter in Parliament. I sent leaders like Naseemuddin Siddiqui and others to the area with aid,” she said.
Addressing “Muslim bhaiyon” several times, Mayawati said only the BSP could take on the BJP because it had a ready Dalit vote base, to which Muslims should add their support.
“The Congress and Samajwadi Party go to our Muslim brothers and say that they can defeat the BJP. But I want to ask the people of Muzaffarnagar, with what votebase? The BJP can only be defeated by a party with a votebase of over 3.5 lakh. The BSP already has the Dalit vote, and I tell you, if you (Muslims) don’t allow your vote to be divided, if all of you vote for the BSP, the BJP will lose its deposit. I have given you a Muslim candidate, Kadir Rana, from Muzaffarnagar. Vote nahin baantna hai (Your vote must not be divided.),” she said.
The BSP chief sought to counter the accusation of having allied twice with the BJP in Lucknow by saying she had refused to go with the BJP in 2004 despite the latter having allegedly threatened to use the CBI against her.
“I didn’t ally with them because I did not want to allow communal forces to take over. They used the CBI and made out false cases against me, but I stood up to them. I have been chief minister of UP four times, twice allied with the BJP, but despite the most difficult of circumstances, I never allowed communal clashes,” she said.