Ms Mayawati said the effort of the Opposition parties will be to stop the BJP from returning to power at any cost.
Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Sunday delivered a major jolt to efforts for Opposition unity against the BJP when she declared that she would join the alliance only if she was given a “respectable” number of seats for the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Talking to reporters here, she said she was not against the principle of an alliance but would enter one only if she was given a “respectable” number of seats. She said that the option of going alone in the polls was always open for her.
Earlier, reports from the BSP camp had suggested Ms Mayawati would not settle for anything less than 40 out of the state’s 80 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.
Ms Mayawati said the effort of the Opposition parties will be to stop the BJP from returning to power at any cost. She targeted the BJP, claiming its governments at the Centre and in the states had “worsened” the condition of the people by offering false dreams.
In another significant move, Ms Mayawati snubbed Chandra Shekhar, the Bhim Army chief, and said that she had no relations with “these sort of people”. The Bhim Army leader, Chandra Shekhar, had on Friday said that Ms Mayawati was like his “bua” (aunt) and that he appreciated the fact that she was working for dalits. Chandra Shekhar had been released from jail where he had spent 15 months under the National Security Act, Ms Mayawati warned her followers to beware of “such elements” who set up organisations in the name of dalits for their selfish material motives. Ms Mayawati even accused the Bhim Army chief of instigating caste violence in Shabbirpur in Saharanpur last year and said that he was strengthening the BJP behind the scenes.
She denied having any relation or “blood connection” with Chandra Shekhar, who had claimed he and the BSP president had the same dalit blood. “If they are true well-wishers of dalits, where was the need to set up a separate organisation? They should have strengthened the dalit movement under the BSP flag,” she said. She also said the BJP will continue to prop up such outfits till the Lok Sabha elections.
Ms Mayawati also attack the BJP for using the name of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to derive political mileage in an election year. “The BJP is trying to divert attention from its failures. If the BJP really had any respect for Vajpayee, they should have followed his footsteps in governance and not allowed religious insanity and mob lynching in the name of protecting the cow”, she stated.
Ms Mayawati attacked the Narendra Modi government for prohibiting the use of the word “dalit” and replacing it with “Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe” on the ground that it was used in the Constitution. She said in that case even “Hindustan” should not be used as the Constitution mentioned only “Bharat”.
The BSP chief thanked the BJP for implicating her in the Taj Corridor scam when she refused to enter into an alliance for the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. Speaking at the press conference, which was held for the first time in her new accommodation in Lucknow after she was forced to vacate her sprawling bungalow on the Supreme Court’s orders, Ms Mayawati said: “It was after the BJP’s attempt to trouble me that my supporters decided to collect small donations with which I could buy a house for myself . This is how I bought this property and another one in Delhi”.