Mayawati’s first poll rally in Uttar Pradesh a big draw


Deoria : The first election rally of Bahujan Samaj Party chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in this remote district in the eastern corner of the state was a big draw.

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Mayawati, who launched her party’s nationwide campaign from Thiruvananthapuram Saturday, was welcomed by tumultuous crowds, who converged at the rally on the open fields at Hata Road on the outskirts of this town.

They arrived on trucks, tractor-trolleys, buses, cars and SUVs and like disciplined workers marched their way to the venue more than a kilometre away from the parking lot.

The gathering included people from neighbouring three other constituencies – Bansgaon, Salempur and Kushinagar whose respective nominees were dutifully present on the dais, along with the local Deoria candidate Gorakh Prasad Jaiswal, a well-known liquor magnate.

The whole tenor of her 30-minute speech was in the form of a fervent appeal to the people for their support to take the BSP to power at the centre.

And the most favourite slogans that rent the air were – “UP hui hamari hai; ab Dilli ki baari hai” (Uttar Pradesh is ours and now it is Delhi’s turn) and “Bharat ki Majboori hai – Mayawati zaroori hai” (It is India’s compulsion to see Mayawati at the helm).

Responding to the slogans, Mayawati told the crowds amidst cheers, “Time has come to see your favourite slogan turning into reality.”

Then she promptly switched to lambasting both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), blaming them for India’s “misrule over the past 61 years”.

“In all these decades, the poor have become poorer and the oppressed Dalits have only seen more sufferings,” she said, adding “If we allow these parties to continue to rule the nation, they might even end the reservation policy.”

“Had it not been for the BSP, the present UPA regime would have succeeded in its conspiracy to take the first step towards doing away with the reservation policy.”

In the same vein, she said: “Let me tell you, once we come to power, we will not only ensure proper continuation of the reservation policy but we will extend it to the poor among upper castes too.”

She went on to add, “Let me remind you that it was my government that gave reservation to backward Muslims for the first time in Uttar Pradesh.”

Claiming that the BSP alone was a party which did not seek any kind of financial support from capitalists, she said: “That was the reason our policies were not influenced by moneyed industrialists or business houses.”