Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati dismissed as "drama" Samajwadi Party's demand for special category status for Uttar Pradesh, saying they are raising the issue with an eye on the forthcoming general elections.
"Why is SP raising the issue now when it is in power for over a year? Were they sleeping during this period? They are raising the issue because elections are near and law and order situation is deteriorating in the state. Their demand is a drama to cover up their weaknesses," she told reporters outside Parliament.
The demand for special status and economic package for UP was raised in Rajya Sabha by SP members as they shouted slogans: "Uttar Pradesh ko vishesh rajya ka darja do (Give special status to Uttar Pradesh)".
Mayawati said whenever BSP has come to power, it has immediately demanded special category status for the state keeping in mind that areas like Bundelkhand, Awadh and Purvanchal are backward.
She said when she was UP chief minister, she had met the prime minister and demanded a special package of Rs 80,000 crore to address the issue of backwardness in UP. She said the state, along with Bihar, fulfils all the criteria for getting special package.
"However, when we raised the issue in Parliament, neither SP, BJP nor Congress supported us," she said.
The BSP supremo also slammed SP and BJP amid reports that leaders of VHP and BJP had met Mulayam Singh Yadav in Lucknow and requested him to mediate with the Muslim community and find ways for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Mayawati said both these parties had earlier come close before elections and they are doing so this time also to flare up communal tension in UP and try to draw a wedge between two communities.
"This is a drama. I appeal to the people not to be misled by BJP and SP. Both the parties are in a weak position in the state and hence have forged alliances before the elections to flare up communal tension and want to draw a wedge" between two communities, she said.