Mayawati defends caste-based rallies

Seeks review of SC order on jailed politicians

Mayawati defends caste-based rallies

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Sunday strongly defended caste-based rallies, which were recently banned by the Allahabad High Court, and sought a review of the apex court's order preventing jailed people from contesting elections, besides demanding  a ban on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bajrang Dal for indulging in politics of religion.

Speaking to reporters here, Mayawati also lambasted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his “puppy” analogy and calling himself “Hindu nationalist”, and advised him to study the Indian Constitution before making such remarks.

She also accused the Akhilesh Yadav regime in Uttar Pradesh of failing on the law and order front, and urged the governor to recommend President's rule in the state.
The BSP chief said that her party would “continue to hold caste-based rallies, though with some changes”, apparently in view of the high court order. “Our social order is based on the caste system. The lower castes have been deprived of their rights,” she said.

“Keeping in view the court order, however, our party will henceforth hold rallies and meetings in the name of ‘sarvasamaj bhaichara’ (spreading brotherhood among every section of society),” Mayawati said.

She said the court should take suo motu cognizance of religious outfits such as the RSS and Bajrang Dal, which “not only decide the election strategy of the Bharatiya Janata Party but also its prime ministerial and chief ministerial candidates”, and ban them.

Mayawati sought a review of the apex court order banning jailed people from contesting elections, saying that it could be misused politically. “The Centre must appeal against the order,” she added. The BSP supremo said that her party had denied ticket to Vijay Bahadur Singh, who had heaped praise on Modi for his “puppy” remark. “Singh may also be expelled if he does not mend his ways,” she said.

She also iterated her demand for President's rule in the state, citing “failure of constitutional machinery”, and attacked the Samajwadi Party for “packing” itself with “corrupt leaders who were thrown out of the BSP.”Mayawati also said that she would visit the Bodh Gaya temple, which was rocked by a series of blasts recently.

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