Mayawati beckons voters to do a ‘UP’ in Karnataka

May 5th, 2008 - 6:49 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party
By Fakir Balaji
Kollegal (Karnataka), May 5 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati Monday appealed to the electorate of Karnataka to vote for her party in the assembly elections and install the first BSP government in south India. Launching her party’s campaign on a two-day visit to the state from this town in the backward district of Chamarajanagar, about 180 km from Bangalore, Mayawati said the people of Karnataka could bring about a revolutionary change in governance by electing her party’s candidates contesting from 218 constituencies of the 224-member legislative assembly.

“You all may be aware how we brought about a societal transformation in Uttar Pradesh every time we were in power as now. By uplifting the downtrodden, weaker sections, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and backward classes through various socio-economic measures initiated in the state, we have demonstrated our commitment to these sections of society.

“If the people of Karnataka desire similar benefits, they should give an opportunity to our party so as to replicate the success story of Uttar Pradesh,” Mayawati said in chaste Hindi. Her speech was translated into Kannada for the 10,000-strong rural folk who gathered from nearby villages, the scorching heat notwithstanding.

Recalling the services of B.R. Ambedkar and BSP founder Kanshi Ram to millions of Dalits, tribals, backward classes and minorities, Mayawati said her crusade against indiscrimination and exploitation in the name of caste and religion had ushered in social engineering, especially in Uttar Pradesh where forward communities, minorities, Christians and Dalits united to empower the neglected sections of society.

“If Karnataka has to progress uniformly and provide equal opportunities for all irrespective of caste, creed, religion, occupation and affiliations, press the ‘elephant’ symbol of our party on the electronic voting machine May 10 to form a BSP government.

“As in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka too will witness rapid development and become a model state under our party for others to emulate and flourish. Make Karnataka another Uttar Pradesh and prevent national or regional parties from ganging up to misrule and exploit the have nots,” Mayawati said, drawing a round of applause.

Cautioning the electorate against the vilification campaign of the Congress that “a vote for BSP will only benefit the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and divide secular votes”, Mayawati said both the parties should be rejected as they were making a mockery of democracy.

“Since independence, we have seen how the Congress and the BJP neglected the downtrodden in Delhi and states. A number of representations to the central government to enable job reservation in the private sector, free education up to college for boys and girls and old-age pension have not been implemented,” Maywati asserted.

Maywati’s whistle-stop tour to Kollegal bordering Tamil Nadu has drawn thousands of farmers, labourers, Dalits, artisans, tradesmen and youth to the rally held at the MGSV college ground.

Although a hour behind schedule on a hot summer afternoon, the sight of her helicopter from Bangalore made hundreds, including children, rush out from the ground for a glimpse of the metal bird.

Besides former state minister P.G.R. Sindhia, who recently joined the BSP, and BSP working president Satish Chandra Mishra, about 80 party candidates contesting in the first phase of poll participated in the rally.

Kollegal was in the spotlight for years during the reign of bandit king and sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, who used to roam freely in the nearby Malai Madeshwara Hills and dwell in the Satyamangalam forest.

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