Mayawati on Thursday sought to quash speculation over the possibility of a post-poll tie-up with the ruling BJP, saying her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was not the B team of any party and the rivals were trying to mislead her supporters.
The speculation was triggered by a recent remark by the Union Home Minister that Mayawati’s BSP remained “relevant” in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and will get Dalit votes.
Mayawati had responded by saying that it was Mr Shah’s “magnanimity” that he acknowledged this but added that the BSP will also get the votes of other communities.
“Ever since the Union Home Minister gave a statement on the BSP’s position among Dalits and Muslims after the polling in western UP, rival political parties and the media have started saying that it is the ‘B’ team of the BJP, when there is no truth in this,” the BSP chief said at an election meeting in Basti, Uttar Pradesh.
She also accused the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the BJP as having a “casteist mindset”, a charge she also levelled on the media.
Mayawati asked why the Samajwadi Party had allied with the BSP in a previous assembly election and then in the Lok Sabha polls if it was the BJP’s B team. She said the media should also tell this to people.
She also referred to the BJP extending support to SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s government in the past.
The Dalit leader targeted the Congress and asked, “Why did the Congress once contest the assembly elections with the BSP and why did it seek support for its government at the Centre?” She called it the rivals’ “disgusting politics”.
The BSP chief said the truth is that the BSP is a national-level party and not “the A or B team of any party”.
In a recent television interview, Amit Shah had said the BSP remained relevant in UP.
“I believe it will get votes. I don’t know how much of it will convert into seats but it will get votes,” the BJP leader had said, triggering speculation over the possibility of a post poll understanding between the two parties.
In 1995, 1997 and 2002, Mayawati was sworn in as chief minister with the BJP’s support.
Lashing out at the media, Mayawati accused it of misleading the Scheduled Caste community by saying that “your behan ji” doesn’t visit victims of atrocities on Dalits when Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra always does this.
Mayawati said like Sonia Gandhi, she is the national president of a party and not just an in-charge of a state — like Priyanka Gandhi.
She said her party too has office bearers who, like the Congress UP in-charge, rush to help victims of atrocities on Dalits. But there is “no drama before the media”, as in the case of the Congress and other parties, she added.
She asked her supporters to remain alert of the “casteist media” and “double-faced” political parties.
She said it was unfortunate that there were “conspiracies” to influence the elections in the name of terrorism or activities of the investigating agencies in Maharashtra.
The BSP chief said her party is contesting the elections alone with full might so that the good days of the BSP government return to Uttar Pradesh.
Like earlier, the BSP has given tickets to all sections of society (sarv samaj), she said.
If the BSP forms the government, its priority will be to provide jobs and steps will be taken remove poverty, she said.
Farmers will not be disappointed and the “sants” and “mahants” will be respected, she said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)