Mayawati woos upper castes, promises statehood for Delhi


New Delhi : Amidst tight security and thousands of people and party workers, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Wednesday tried to woo the upper caste voters and promised full statehood for Delhi.

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Dressed in a cream suit with a red purse in hand, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo arrived at a public meeting in Sultanpuri area in the capital almost three and half hours after the scheduled time. She was greeted by thousands of people, applause and slogans such as ‘Mayawati Zindabad (Long live Mayawati)’.

“I want to tell the people of the upper castes that our policies are not against them. If that had been true, we would not have given them tickets in the (2007) Uttar Pradesh elections,” Mayawati said in her 25-minute speech.

“We are not for one community, we are for everyone. I promise that if voted to power at the centre, we would provide reservation to the economically backward people among the upper castes,” she said.

She called upon the people to vote for the BSP in Delhi for the capital’s development. “We will regularize the unauthorised colonies in the capital and get full statehood for Delhi,” she added.

The venue of the rally in west Delhi was flooded with party flags and huge cut-outs of Mayawati, her mentor Kanshi Ram and architect of Indian constitution B.R. Ambedkar. The BSP candidates had also pooled in a large number of supporters.

She referred to the humiliation of north Indians in Maharashtra and said: “Many people in the country are meted out step motherly treatment outside their home states. We will sort out this issue too”.

It was a joint rally for 36 BSP candidates of northwest, west, southwest, outer district and north districts of Delhi. The party is contesting all the 70 seats in the capital which goes to polls Nov 29.