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'Egalitarian' Mayawati woos upper castes
December 02, 2007 19:05 IST
Seeking to expand the BSP's support base in other states after its landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh, party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Sunday said her party did not want to punish 'Manuwadis' for the caste system.
"We do not want to punish the followers of Manu for what he had done ages ago. Without associating the upper castes, we cannot create an egalitarian society as envisaged by Ambedkar. Not only the weaker sections, but we have to link all castes and classes for creating social brotherhood," she said at a rally in Kolkata.
Accusing the Congress and the BJP of launching a propaganda that the BSP was against the upper castes, she said, "If that is so, then why did the Congress ally with us in 1996. The BJP was also associated with us for some time."
She also accused the two parties, and also the Left Front in West Bengal, of doing away with reservations in the government sector by privatizing public sector units.
"Since they do this straightway, they are privatising PSUs on the excuse that they are loss making."
Mayawati said, however, that her party was not against privatisation, but said that job reservation should be ensured in such a PSU before it was handed over to private players.
The BSP chief supported job reservation for religious minorities and the economically weaker sections of the upper castes, but said that it had to be done by the Centre by amending the laws.