Virtually stroking the fire on the suddenly hyped issue of reservation to the Jat community, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Wednesday blamed the Congress-led central government for its continued dilly-dallying.
Addressing a massive election rally in the heart of this Jat dominated belt, she said, "I took the lead by urging the Centre to include Jats in the Other Backward Classes list for providing reservation to them", while lamenting, "but the centre has not cared to even reply to my letter."
Mayawati's particular reference to the issue is seen as a sequel to the sudden focus by Jat pressure groups in bordering Haryana, where they took to streets on Monday, while echoing their demand for grant of reservation to the community in central government jobs.
The timing of the demonstrations clearly indicated the intention behind the move to embarrass the Congress-Rashtriya Lok Dak combine that was busy trying to woo the Jat community in Western UP, where polling was due over the coming days.
In fact, the Congress party has been misleading both Jats and Muslims on the issue of reservation," alleged Mayawati , while pointing out how some Congress leaders had gone about "promising 9 per cent reservation to Muslims out of the 27 OBC quota."
The UP chief minister added, "I have also been in favour of granting reservation to the poor among upper castes, for which I wrote another letter to the central government where it was apparently only gathering dust."
Terming the recent controversial statements by different Congress leaders on the Batla House encounter in which some Muslim youth from Azamgarh were gunned down in Delhi, Mayawati said, "the issue has been systematically raised by the Congress leaders only to mislead Muslims ; if the centre was actually sincere towards Muslims, then they should have ordered a judicial probe into the whole incident ."
In an bid to impress the huge population of farmers in the region, the BSP supremo reminded them of the measures initiated by her government for the larger good of farmers and sugar cane growers.
"We have completely revised the land acquisition policy upholding the long term interest of farmers and we also revised the sugarcane price to an unprecedented level" she said.
"We took the sugarcane price far ahead of the central government's proposed price of Rs 145 to Rs 250, that has not been done anywhere else in the country," she pointed out, while adding, "and remember that the arrears of Rs 2,500 crore were also cleared by my government."
She urged the cheering crowds to make it a point to step out of their homes to cast their vote.
"Remember, if you want this daughter of a Dalit to return as chief minister, you must leave everything else to ensure that you cast your vote," she said in a fervent appeal to the crowds. She addressed a similar rally in neighbouring Gautambuidh Nagar as well.