Speaking at a Brahmin Mahasammelan here on Thursday, the former UP chief minister said the current Samajwadi Party (SP) government was carrying out atrocities against the upper castes and particularly the Brahmins, as it has been targetting the scheduled castes.
Her choice of the venue also had a political significance as the meeting was held at the residence of BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, who has been the party's Brahmin face.
The BSP chief announced a list of 36 candidates for the Lok Sabha election, of which 20 are Brahmins. She said that Mishra will lead the party's campaign to woo the Brahmins voters. She also expressed her desire to seek reservations for the economically weak among the upper castes.
Mayawati also referred to a recent incident in Etawah where a Brahmin couple was humiliated in the open. She said that the top leaders from the ruling party are from the Etawah district.
She said the BSP has raised the issue of Brahmins being harassed in the state in the assembly and that the local unit of the party was fighting for justice for the victimised couple. She said that between 2007 and 2012 when her party was in power, instances of upper caste people being harassed were unheard of.
Speaking on her party's loss in 2012, Mayawati said the Brahmins and other upper castes were swung into their favour by other parties but now they were regretting their decision. She said the BSP would take care of this matter and asserted that the BSP was a party which had worked for all and did not discriminate against any particular caste or community.
The BJP supremo said the SP and other major parties like the Congress and the BJP misled people on the issue of reservation in promotions.
She said it is being projected as something new while the fact of the matter is that reservation in promotions has been continuing since 1955. She also criticised the two national parties for holding up the bill on reservation in promotions in the Lok Sabha.
The Brahmins constitute 16 per cent of the population of UP and their votes have significance in 25 per cent of the 403 assembly and 80 Lok Sabha seats. In the 2007 assembly polls, the BSP had fielded 86 Brahmin candidates of whom 49 had won. She had made nine Brahmin MLAs her ministers, including four cabinet ministers.
In the 2012 assembly polls, the BSP had fielded 69 Brahmins of whom only 12 had won. The SP had fielded 42 Brahmin candidates of whom 21 had won.