Mayawati woos upper castes, flays Congress

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Hardwar, Feb 2 (UNI) Mounting a scathing attack on the Congress, UP Chief Minister Mayawati today said the Congress was pursuing anti-people, particularly anti-dalit policies resulting in wide spread poverty and unemployment in the country.

Ms Mayawati, addressing a massive rally here said the pattern of UP, where the party had come to power with the support of dalits and upper castes, should be replicated in other parts of the country.

''Our party is not a party of only one caste or one religion.

We want to eradicate all the discriminations and favour the creation of a cohesive social order which is based on equality and justice,'' she said.

Making a plea to widen the ambit of reservation, she said the dalits who embraced Christianity and Islam should also be given the benefit of reservation available to the SC/ST in the government services.

''However, the percentage of the reservation available to the SC/ST should be increased in proportion to the percentage of reservation provided to the Christian and Muslim dalits. The Central government is paying no heed to our demand in this respect,'' she alleged. She said if her party assumed power at the Centre, Christian and Muslim dalits and poor people of upper castes also would be provided reservation benefit. She also said following the pattern of UP, the Central and state governments should ensure that private entrepreneurs provided reservation to the SC/ST and OBCs.

Lambasting the Congress, she said it was a desperate party, since the dalits were fast deserting it due to its indifferent attitude towards them and were drifting towards the BSP.

Congress had started raking up the Taj Corridor case, instituted against her by the erstwhile NDA government in 2003 and other cases related to her assets to exert political pressure on her, she claimed However, undeterred she would continue serving the downtrodden, she said.

She also termed the Rojgar Guarantee Yojana, which provides 100 days employment in a year at the wages of Rs. 100 per day, floated by the Central government as ''mockery''.

''The day our party comes to power at the Centre, we shall scrap this Yojana and launch the projects to provide employment to all the unemployed,'' she declared, drawing applause from the crowd.

Ms Mayawati said there was a serious threat to her life, therefore, she had demanded SPG security for herself. ''However, the Central government was irresponsive to my demand. If I am assassinated, the party will emerge stronger,'' she said.

UNI XC AM HT1748

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