Mayawati declares herself the future PM

August 9th, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Lucknow, Aug 9 (IANS) Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Saturday declared herself India’s future prime minister. “If I can become the chief minister of India’s most populous state four times - and this time entirely on my own without anyone else’s support, then why can’t I become the country’s prime minister,” she told a massive gathering of her party workers from different states during a one-day BSP national convention at the sprawling Rama Bai Ambedkar Maidan here.

Even as the audience applauded, Mayawati was quick to add: “If you pose this question to my casteist political adversaries, they will have no answer to this because they cannot see a Dalit’s daughter rising to such heights.”

Labelling the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rank casteists, she said: “These parties felt most threatened when my name was proposed for prime ministership during the course of the UPA government’s trust vote in parliament, so both the NDA and UPA decided to gang up and save the central government.”

Yet she was thankful to these very parties for bringing the BSP to the centrestage of national politics. “Well, I should express my gratitude to these very parties as the profile enhancement that the BSP witnessed over a span of just six or seven days was something we would have otherwise taken six or seven years to achieve,” she said.

In her 90-minute address, Mayawati trained her guns largely on the Congress and BJP, who she saw as the key stumbling blocks in her path.

She went all out to give herself a clean chit in the disproportionate assets case for which she was charged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “Realising that the rise of the BSP was a direct threat to them, the Congress-led UPA was looking for new ways and means to run me down; and the latest in the series was implicating me in the disproportionate assets case that has been speeded up, particularly after I refused to support them during the trust vote,” she charged.

She went on to add: “My supporters are aware that all the wealth and property I have acquired actually consists of the gifts I have received on my birthdays; and nearly Rs.30 crores (Rs.300 million) out of that has been given away as income tax. Yet the government is trying to harass me by cooking up false cases.”

As if seeking reassurance from her audience, Mayawati added: “I am sure my supporters are not going to get affected by such falsehood and campaigns launched by my adversaries.”

Though she maintained that the meet was convened to discuss three issues - withdrawal of support to the UPA government; tackling unemployment and the strategy for the coming Lok Sabha polls as well as assembly elections in five states - her thrust remained against the Congress and BJP.

At the same time she sought to convey that it was not the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s refusal to give her a clean chit in the corruption cases against her that led her to withdraw support to it.

“While the BJP began to hound me by fabricating cases in the name of the Taj Corridor, the Congress left no stone unturned in attempting to tarnish my image by letting loose the CBI to concoct cases against me,” she said.

“The Congress leadership wanted to send me to jail, so as soon as I learnt about their conspiracy, I moved the Supreme Court, and I am confident of getting justice from there.

“What finally led me to withdraw support to the UPA government was their utter neglect of Uttar Pradesh, for which they were not willing to pay any heed to our repeated demand for a special package of Rs.80,000 crores (Rs.800 billion),” she claimed. “On the contrary, we extended full support to them to elect their own president.”

While praising the architect of her social engineering - Satish Chandra Misra, who had played a key role in opening up the otherwise essentially Dalit party to upper caste Brahmins - in helping her out with her court cases, Mayawati made it a point to display her grit in fighting back.

“Don’t get disheartened even if I lose the case in the apex court and the Congress succeeds in its design to send me to jail on trumped up corruption charges,” she told the audience.

When she asked them to take a pledge that they would not give up and carry her mission ahead, hundreds of thousands of hands went up in acknowledgement of their commitment to her.

She termed the Congress “anti-Dalit, anti-Ambedkar and anti-Muslim”. She released two booklets to educate and alert her partymen against what she termed the Congress party’s “mischievous” tirade against her.

She also called for launching a three-phase ‘National Public Awareness Movement’ between September and December as part of the party’s preparation for the next general elections.

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