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LS polls a prestige issue, says Mayawati
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March 02, 2009 18:04 IST
Terming the Lok Sabha elections a "prestige issue" for the Bahujan Samaj Party, its supremo Mayawati [Images] on Monday asked the partymen to set aside their differences and redouble their efforts to ensure maximum representation in Parliament.

"For the BSP, the Lok Sabha election is a prestige issue. We must ensure that the party wins maximum seats, specially in Uttar Pradesh [Images], so as to achieve our target of forming a government at the Centre," Mayawati told party workers and leaders at the BSP national convention in Lucknow.

"If we make concentrated efforts, our slogan 'UP hui hamari hai, ab Delhi [Images] ki bari hai' (UP is ours, now it's the turn of Delhi), will turn into a reality," she said.

If it comes to power, the BSP will frame economic policies for betterment of all sections of society and introduce quota in private sector for Scheduled Castes / Sceduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes as well as economically weaker sections of the upper castes, she said.

Claiming that other parties were rattled with the "expanding base" of the BSP, Mayawati cautioned the workers to be cautious about small caste and religion-based parties. "The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party [Images] and their allies may appear as different parties, but when it comes to BSP they all are one. The opposition's sole objective is to keep the BSP at bay. They do not want the party to gain power at the Centre," she alleged.

"A conspiracy is being hatched by the opposition, which can go to any extent, but we must be ready to counter their plans," she added. The BSP president said efforts can be made to divide the party's vote bank, specially among SC/STs and other backward castes, by floating small political parties and fielding candidates of specific castes.

"You need to be cautious against such moves," she said. Unveiling the party's poll strategy, she said that zonal coordinators, assembly segment and divisional incharges and MLAs should camp in their respective areas.

"When candidates are selected, some party workers and leaders may have complaints, but you must keep differences aside for the sake of the party's prestige," Mayawati said. While directing the party cadre to highlight achievements of the BSP regimes, she asked them to "educate" the electorate about "step-motherly treatment" meted out to the state by the Central government.

"Soon I will issue a written appeal for the electorate. It is your responsibility to ensure that my appeal reaches to each and every village. Though for me it will not be possible to visit each and every constituency, I will organise meetings by combining two-three constituencies at a time," she said.

"People should vote for the BSP candidate as they are voting for me. Consider it as if I am contesting on all the 80 seats in the state and you all must promise me today that you will not let me or the party down," Mayawati said. The BSP supremo said BSP's growth was not going down well with the opposition parties, which she alleged were being funded by capitalists and industrialists.

"Unlike the opposition parties which are funded by the industrialists, the BSP runs on donation received from its workers collected on my birthday," she said.

"This is the reason that unlike other political parties, who, when in power frame their policies to suit the interest of the industrialists and capitalist and ignore the interest of common people and farmers, BSP will frame economic policies for the betterment of the all sections of the society.There is no pressure of industrialists and capitalists on me," Mayawati said.

She alleged that the Congress and BJP were attempting to abolish the reservation system. "For the last decade efforts are being made to abolish reservation in a phased manner. A bill tabled by the United Progressive Alliance government, which denied reservation benefits at top posts in central institutes was an example of the conspiracy. But the BSP opposed the move tooth and nail and as a result the bill had been held back," she claimed.

Mayawati said if BSP comes to power at the Centre, quota will be provided to SC/STs, OBCs and economically weaker sections of upper castes in private sector. She said special attention would be paid to development of UP.

The Chief Minister also released a book written by her on the reservation issue to "expose the opposition's conspiracy to deprive the needy of their legal rights".

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