New Delhi, May 7 (UNI) The fight for the minority and Dalit vote bank in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Lok Sabha elections is hotting up with Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan deciding to honour all party workers who participated in agitations against the ''plight'' of minorities and Dalits under the Mayawati regime.
''I will personally hand over letters of appreciation (prashasti patra) to all the party workers who participated in the agitations in Uttar Pradesh in February and April this year...I will be in Lucknow on May 31,'' he told reporters.
He charged the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government in UP with ignoring the rights of minorities and Dalits. ''Attrocities are being committed on these people on a daily basis...the loss of life and property is immense,'' he added.
He also accused the BSP president of buckling under the pressure of the ''upper caste'' by banning literature of Periyar E V Ramasamy.
Recently, the BJP in UP had written to Ms Mayawati to ban Periyar's ''Sacchi Ramayana'' as it allegedly portrayed Lord Ram in a bad light.
Recently, the Union Minister had alleged that the 'social engineering' formula of BSP was a "blatant copy" of the policy the Congress had been following.
Paswan said the BSP has "lost its soul" and it was no longer a party having any interest in the welfare of Dalits.
On the possibility of all UPA constituents contesting the Lok Sabha elections together, he said it was not a practical approach.
Paswan also said the LJP would keep equidistance with both RJD and BJP.
On LJP's strategy for the coming elections, he said pre-poll alliances would be made on a state-to-state basis.
UNI NAB PK AS1932