Lucknow, Feb 23 (PTI) Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati on Wednesday appreciated Union minister Amit Shah for acknowledging that her party will get Dalit votes but added that Muslims and other communities are also voting for the BSP.
Shah had recently said in a television interview that Mayawati remained relevant in Uttar Pradesh, where the fourth round of polling for the assembly took place on Wednesday.
“The BSP has maintained its relevance. I believe it will get votes. I don’t know how much of it will convert into seats but it will get votes,” he had said.
The senior BJP leader’s remark triggered some speculation over the possibility of a post-election tie-up between the two parties. In 1995, 1997 and 2002, Mayawati was sworn in as CM with BJP’s support.
Commenting on the minister’s remark, Mayawati said it was his “greatness” that he accepted the truth.
But she added that her BSP is getting votes of not only Dalits, but Muslims, Other Backward Classes and upper castes as well.
“When the results are declared on March 10, the BSP will form its government like it did in 2007 with full majority,” Mayawati told reporters after casting her vote.
Asked about Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav’s claim that his party is getting the Muslim voters’ support, she said the ground reality cannot be more different and can be known by visiting villages.
“Members of religious minorities, the Muslims, have been unhappy with the Samajwadi Party’s working style. They believe that even when they were with it for the last five years, they were sidelined to make space for others at the time of giving tickets,” the Dalit leader said.
She also dismissed Yadav’s claim of making forays into her core Jatav vote bank, calling the idea a distant dream and advised the SP leader to make sure that he gets the votes of his own caste first.
She termed the former chief minister “nakli Ambedkarvadi” (fake Ambedkarite), saying he had changed the names of districts and schemes she had named after Dalit icons during her government.
“The Samajwadi Party is dreaming of forming the government and this dream will be shattered. You all know whenever SP has been in power, Dalits, backwards, the poor and Brahmins have been harassed the most,” she said.
“People here have seen how the ‘goonda’ and mafia elements called the shots and harassment was at its peak whenever the SP was in power,” she said.
Under the SP government the state also witnessed riots, she said, citing the Muzaffarnagar violence. PTI SAB VN ASH
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Source: The Print