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'If Modi couldn't prevent riots in Guj, how can he generate unity?'

Last updated on: January 15, 2014 20:11 IST

'If Modi couldn't prevent riots in Guj, how can he generate unity?'

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Making it loud and clear that her party would go it alone to the 2014 Lok Sabha poll1, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Wednesday declared that it was time for the party to grab power in New Delhi.

She was addressing a mammoth rally here to mark the launch of her party’s campaign for which she chose her own 58th birthday. She took the opportunity to train her guns at the Aam Aadmi Party.

And unlike the past when her attacks remained focused on her most sworn political foe - Samajwadi Party -- Mayawati made it a point to target AAP, thereby setting off speculation that the incredible rise of Arvind Kejriwal and company had rattled even the BSP that always boasts of an impregnable Dalit vote bank.

Urging her party to take BSP to new heights, she said, “It is now time that after you all go back to your homes, devote yourself to insuring a very good result for your party, so that we grab the power in Delhi and ensure your well being across the nation.”

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Image: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati gestures as she address a rally at the Ramabai Ambedkar maidan in Lucknow
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

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'If Modi couldn't prevent riots in Guj, how can he generate unity?'

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She however chose to clarify that she ad no plans to align with any political outfit. "The media if often seen speculating the BSP's alignment with the Congress; but I wish to make it absolutely clear that there was no question of joining hands with any party. We will fight the coming Lok Sabha election entirely on our own,” she declared.

Besides, systematic flogging of the Bharatiya Janata Party in general and its prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi in particular amply demonstrated that she was preparing herself with more arsenal against him together with her new found political adversary, the AAP.

Evidently, AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s success in cutting across caste barriers in the national capital where the BSP was reduced to nothing; also came in for Mayawati’s criticism.

“This leader of AAP was busy misleading Dalits and other lower castes that they were all ‘aam aadmi’ ; but I wish to alert all Dalits not to get carried away by his devious design that was aimed only at winning their votes,” she said.

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Image: Supporters at the rally at the Ramabai Ambedkar maidan in Lucknow
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

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'If Modi couldn't prevent riots in Guj, how can he generate unity?'

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“Branding Dalits as ‘aam admi’ would not curtail the discrimination that the downtrodden castes are often subjected to,” she warned. Citing an example, she alleged, “An upper caste cobbler or tea-seller will be given more respect than a Dalit collector.”

She dismissed Kejriwal’s repeated references to Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar as also his aborted ‘janata durbar as “melodrama”.  She also went about claiming that she had during her last chief ministerial stint provided whatever Kejriwal had done in the name of relief to the people of Delhi.

“Water was the cheapest in UP during my regime and I not only disallowed any hike in the power tariff, but also ensure adequate power supply to both urban and rural areas,” she claimed while following it up with much statistics, showing comparisons with the corresponding figures of the present SP government too.

In her 100-minute long speech, she sought to make it clearly evident that UP’s ruling Samajwadi  Party would perhaps not remain as much on her target as before -- perhaps because the Akhilesh Yadav government had already lost much of its credibility. Her attacks against the Congress too appeared to be less sharp than usual.

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Image: Supporters clamour at the Ramabai Ambedkar maidan in Lucknow
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

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'If Modi couldn't prevent riots in Guj, how can he generate unity?'

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However, she made it a point to make a fervent appeal to Muslims to extend their support to her party.

“If you vote for us, you would be contributing towards weakening the BJP,” she told the audience, while conveying that this time she would be in a far stronger position than SP, behind whom the community had been throwing bulk of their weight at earlier elections.

Training her guns at the BJP and Narendra Modi, the BSP chief even went to the extent of recalling the demolition of the Babri Mosque in 1992.

“Remember it was the BJP that was behind the demolition of the Babri Mosque,” she remarked, while adding, “And if Modi keeps on harping about his much hyped Gujarat model, let me tell you that Gujarat remains extremely low on several indices including child nutrition and welfare of scheduled tribes.”

Even Modi’s on-going campaign for erecting a tall Sardar Patel statue in the Narmada, was termed as his “bid to woo members of the backward caste to which Patel belonged.”

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Photographs: Sandeep Pal

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Apparently for the benefit of the party’s subalterns -- some of whom had arrived from distant corners of the country including Tamil Nadu as well as Andaman and Nicobar Islands -- Mayawati went about giving an overview of the birth and rise of BSP against all kinds of odds.

Boasting about her single-handed success to win a clear majority for the party in 2007 when she formed her fourth government -- entirely on her own -- she also made it a point to showcase how she provided better governance than the SP.

“Unlike the present state government, when riots after riots have been taking place in UP, my five-year regime passed off without a single riot” he said, while adding, “And that was best demonstrated by the fact that even after the High Court verdict in the long pending Ayodhya issue, I ensure complete harmony and peace across the state.”

She also warned her audience not to get influenced by the media, which she accused of “often getting guided by industrial and business houses.”


Photographs: Sandeep Pal

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Photographs: Sandeep Pal
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