Mayawati exhorts BSP to get ready for Lok Sabha polls

February 24th, 2008 - 8:05 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Aiming to head the next government in New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati Sunday exhorted thousands of supporters gathered at her rally here to get ready for the coming Lok Sabha elections. “We want to form the government in Delhi. And if we have enough MPs, we can form a government in the union,” she said.

Mayawati touched an emotional cord with the 70,000-strong crowd from the word go at the ‘Sarv Samaj Bhaichara’ (all-community brotherhood rally), which came a few days after she hinted she might not withdraw support to the United Progressive Alliance government with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreeing to most of her demands for Uttar Pradesh’s development.

That, of course, did not stop her from repeating her criticism of both the BJP and the Congress. “These parties are run with capitalists’ funds. They work for the interests of these capitalists when they come to power,” she said.

“Though BSP stands for ‘Sarvajan Hitay, Sarvjan Sukhay’ (’welfare of all people, happiness for all), the first priority is the people from the Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes as they have been ignored by the Congress and BJP governments in the last 60 years,” Mayawati said.

“To establish an equal society and also to come to power, it is important that BSP takes sarvajan samaj (all sections of society) with it,” the BSP president stated categorically.

Mayawati took up a range of issues, including the debate over migrants in New Delhi, sealing of shops in unauthorised areas in the capital, and the Gujjar community’s demand for the Scheduled Tribes status.

“There are more people here who are outsiders than those who are from Delhi. Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress consider them a burden. I feel these outsiders are harassed, and both these parties and their alliance partners are responsible for this,” she said.

She was referring to the recent controversy following Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna’s reported remarks about making mandatory carrying of an identity card and residence proof - a move soon withdrawn as migrant workers here opposed it.

Referring to the Gujjars’s agitation last year, she said: “In Rajasthan, there was a problem in giving the Scheduled Tribes status to Gujjars. The BSP has been in favour of giving this status to Gujjars for a long time,” she said. “Gujjars should work with the BSP to help it come to power,” she added.

She did not forget to reiterate her demand for job reservations in the private sector and also to the economically backward among upper castes.

“I have written to the prime minister about this but no action has been taken,” she said. “My government is committed to providing 10 percent reservation to the poor among upper castes. All those companies which get government contracts will have to provide this reservation.”

“Those companies which start a project with their own money but still provide reservation will get support from the government,” she said.

Mayawati also spoke of various schemes and policy measures her government has taken to serve the poor, small farmers, daily wagers and other marginalised sections of society.

She criticised the sealing of unauthorised establishments in Delhi, saying it had led to harassment of a lot of business people and her party was opposed to it.

Delhi will elect a new assembly this year. The BSP made major gains in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls last year by winning 17 wards, and now plans to improve its performance in the coming assembly polls.

“I declare here today that the BSP should start its poll campaign for the Delhi elections,” Mayawati said, who became the UP chief minister for the fourth time in May 2007.

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