Mayawati aspires for Centre; says LS polls anytime now

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Lucknow, Oct 9: Blaming the Congress for failing to have a consensus on the 123 Nuclear Agreement and filing a faulty affidavit on the Ram Setu issue in the Supreme Court, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati today exhorted the party cadre to be prepared for mid-term Lok Sabha elections. Addressing a mammoth 'Savdhan raho, aage barho' rally on the outskirts of the state capital, the BSP leader said she saw Lok Sabha elections coming before time. Lok Sabha polls could take place anytime, she said.

''I will give you reasons for early polls...the first being that the United Progressive Alliance is facing inner contradictions of the nuclear deal with the United States. In fact, the Congress should have taken all parties into confidence before signing the deal. The other reason for early polls is the faulty affidavit filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court on the Ram Sethu project. It was wrong to file such an affidavit. Finally, inflation is giving a tough time to the common man, '' she said Criticising the UPA government for denying adequate financial assistance to development-starved Uttar Pradesh, the chief minister virtually launched a Lok Sabha poll campaign asking her party to help install the BSP government at the Centre for the overall progress of 'sarvasamaj' (all sections).

Expressing her aspirations to capture power at the Centre in the next Lok Sabha polls, she said what the Congress-led Union Government was denying the state would be realised by the BSP government at the Centre.

Addressing the rally on the occasion of the first anniversary of death of BSP founder Kanshiram organised at the newly developed Ramabai Ambedkar ground, Ms Mayawati pulled no punches while slamming the Congress on various counts.

She said if BSP came to power at the Centre, it would implement ten per cent reservation for the upper caste poor. Commenting on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), she said the BSP would strive to provide permanent employment to the people, instead of 100 days' employment under NREGS. ''In fact, NREGS is a waste of money,'' she quipped.

She chose the occasion to announce over a dozen of new projects -- all in the name of Kanshiram. These projects, estimated at about Rs 7000 crore, included UP Institute of Technology, international Convention Centre, Multi-Speciality Hospital, Children's Hopsital, Museum, Guest House, Medical College and Housing Clusters at various places of the state.

The BSP president also used the opportunity to hit back at other political rivals, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP). ''The allegations that I am indulging in politics of vendetta is baseless...had that been the case, the SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav would been behind bars till now,'' she said referring to the allegations that her government was preparing to jail senior SP leaders.

The UP Chief Minister also denied that her party had given out the slogan of 'Tilak tarazu aur talwar, inko maaro joote char'. ''We had never coined the slogan...the opposition parties, including the Congress and the BJP had planted it to soil our image,'' she said.

She warned her cadre to beware of 'muscle, money, media and mafia'. ''The opposition is using the media against me...the media has charged me with taking over all government bungalows and handing over the Kanshiram Trust to my sibling. It is wrong as I have not purchased even a single inch of government land either in my name or in the name of BSP or the Kanshiram Trust. If it is proved, I will resign from politics,'' she said.

Calling her younger brother Anand on the dias, Ms Mayawati said she had gifted to him some of the money donated to her by the party cadre as he had left his government job to take care of the household and the then ailing Kanshiram. ''If I were to die, he should have enough money to take care of his small children,'' she reasoned.

Defending her Brahmin poster boy and cabinet colleague Satish Chandra Mishra, she said the media had projected that he had placed his kin on key positions in the government. ''People with merit were given jobs. Neither his wife nor his children were given plum appointments,'' she added.

Charging the Opposition with misleading people in a bid to create social tension, the BSP president claimed that shocked by the BSP's rise, the rival parties were trying to mislead the people against her. ''In some states the, Dalits have been divided into various categories...the idea is to divide you so that you cannot emerge as a strong force. This is what the Britishers had done to rule India,'' she said.

The CM, who reached the rally site by helicopter, said the cadre should not listen to the media or others and only believe in what the BSP leaders say.


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