Mayawati calls on Dalits, OBCs and minorities at Ghaziabad rally

Ghaziabad: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Sunday chose to speak about the sufferings of the left behind, Dalits, Muslims and other religious minorities as she defeated the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. and attacked previous Congress administrations.

Experts noted that it was the BSP chief's attempt to garner votes from these classes, besides an attempt to retain her party's core vote bank.  (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
Experts noted that it was the BSP chief’s attempt to garner votes from these classes, besides an attempt to retain her party’s core vote bank. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

These people are also called PDAs (pichda, dalit and alpsankhyak) in political parlance.

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Experts noted that it was the BSP chief’s attempt to garner votes from these classes, besides an attempt to retain her party’s core vote bank.

Mayawati was chief minister of UP four times. But in 2012, the BSP lost power to the Samajwadi Party after winning only 80 seats in the UP Assembly. Its fortunes fell further in 2017 when it won only 19 seats, while in 2022 it could only secure one of the total 403 seats.

On Sunday, the BSP chief in Ghaziabad tried to emphasize that her party has chosen to go solo in these elections and it has reasons for that.

Attacking the BJP, she said it may not come to power easily because they have an agenda and narrow mindset on casteism, capitalism and communalism.

She hoped that the current elections would be ‘free and fair’ without any disruption of the EVMs, which is a matter of communal discussion.

“The BJP will not benefit from ‘Jumlebaazi’ (false promises) or any ‘guarantee’ this time as they could not complete even a quarter of their works promised to the people… They are only protecting capitalists and with their financial help them run their organization and receive help in participating in elections. Many of the revelations have been made through the electoral bonds report,” she said, alleging that “like the Congress, the BJP also politicized the enforcement agencies”.

The Supreme Court (SC) had earlier quashed the Centre’s 2018 electoral bond scheme for political financing in February, declaring it “unconstitutional”. The apex court also ordered full disclosure of donors and recipients of bonds issued since April 2019 on the Election Commission of India website.

During her speech, she underlined that the poor, Dalits, Adivasis (tribes), backward classes, Muslims and other religious minorities have suffered.

“The reservation quota of Dalits, adivasis and OBCs for government jobs across the country is yet to be fulfilled for many years… Particularly, reservation for promotions of SC/ST government employees has now become almost ineffective. Most of the government works are now given to corporations and the sections are not getting the benefit of reservation and are facing exploitation…,” she said.

“Muslims and other religious minorities also face problems at every level and many of these revelations have been made in the Sachar Committee report. They usually face extreme injustice in the name of Hindutva or religion,” Mayawati added.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh formed the Rajender Sachar Commission of Justice in March 2005 to report on the social, educational and economic status of the Muslim community in the country.

Later, the committee presented its report to the central government on November 17, 2006 and made a host of recommendations to improve the education, employment and economic standards of Muslims, keeping in mind their low representation in government jobs.

Mayawati also claimed that the poor, farmers and small and medium businessmen were also facing problems and the country’s economy was affected by government policies.

Corruption at all levels has not ended yet… So you have to prevent the BJP, Congress and their allies from coming to power, she said.

“They are trying every tactic to gain power. They also try to use media, polls and surveys, and we have to remain careful about that. As people have lost faith in their promises in the form of manifestos, we do not issue such manifestos but mainly depend on our works,” she claimed.

In an oblique reference to the Center providing free ration to 800 million people in the country, Mayawati said the free ration given to the poor does not serve any permanent problem of poor people.

Experts said this plan would win votes for the BJP in the 2022 UP elections.

“They will get relief only if they find work… If we come to power, we will tackle the problems of unemployment, price rise and poverty by changing economic policies. We will also end their discrimination, especially against Muslims, that they face in the name of Hindutva and religion. We will also stop this and ensure the safety of the poor, Dalits, underprivileged, Muslims and other religious minorities. We have shown our works during our governments in UP. So, you should not let your vote be divided and give it to the BSP,” the BSP chief added.

Experts say the BSP has managed to retain its core vote bank in UP despite losing in previous elections.

Now, the BSP is trying to get votes from OBCs, minorities and Muslims to increase its vote bank and win as many seats as possible out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP, they said.

“This means that BSP’s stakes will be high when the results are known. By attacking the BJP, the BSP is trying to gather anti-BJP votes and this would mean loss for the INDIA bloc,” said KK Sharma, associate professor (history), CCS University, Meerut.

However, the BJP leaders claim that they will win in a big way this time.

“The BSP is nowhere in the fray and our party is winning very well in UP. We are going to win majority seats in UP and our candidate will win by a margin of 7-8 lakh (700,000 to 800,000) votes,” said Ajay Sharma, Speaker of Lok Sabha (BJP, Ghaziabad).

The Congress leaders alleged that the BSP candidates are not campaigning anywhere and that the BSP is only trying to help the BJP.

“Our INDIA block candidates in western UP are receiving active support from backward Dalits and minorities in western UP. Our alliance partner and Samajwadi Party leader has even raised the issues surrounding the backward, Dalits and minorities. Our leader Rahul Gandhi has raised grave concerns over these sections during his two major road rallies across the country,” said Vinit Tyagi, district president of the Congress.