Indian Express

Maya shows ‘sarv-samaj’ credentials to woo voters

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A foreigner takes photos at BSP chief Mayawati’s rally in Allahabad on Sunday. PTI A foreigner takes photos at BSP chief Mayawati’s rally in Allahabad on Sunday. PTI

Reiterating her prime ministerial ambitions, BSP chief Mayawati Sunday highlighted her “sarva-samaj” credentials as she appealed to Muslims, Dalits and Brahmins — the three vote banks that form the axis of politics in Uttar Pradesh — to help her party reach a position where it can “influence the balance of power” at the Centre.

“The Congress and the BJP have done nothing for the backward classes and the Dalits. But, now that its election time, Dalits are being told about presence of various sub-castes. An attempt is being made to create a confusion to garner votes,” Mayawati said, warning the Dalits not to be misled by the BJP’s tactics.

Addressing a rally here, Mayawati said the BSP has fielded a Pasi candidate from Kaushambi (reserved) Lok Sabha seat. “Our candidate is being opposed by fielding a Sonkar candidate. If a Pasi candidate wins, it will ultimately be a Dalit’s daughter, who will become the prime minister,” she said.

She said her party has fielded maximum Brahmin candidates and pointed out that the BJP “unceremoniously” cancelled the ticket of Keshari Nath Tripathi, a Brahmin who had been “working hard in Allahabad”, and gave it, instead to a member of the Vaishya community.

She said while the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi never clarified which backward caste he belonged to, he pushed out Murli Manohar Joshi, a Brahmin, from Varanasi and instead himself chose to contest from there.

Elaborating on her electoral arithmetic, Mayawati also urged the Muslims to vote for BSP as “it was the only way to prevent the BJP from coming to power”.

She also reiterated that the BSP has given tickets to maximum number of Muslim candidates (19) in Uttar Pradesh.

The BSP leader also claimed that the Muslims in state were now saying that during her regime there were no communal riots and caste tensions were less.

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