Mayawati attacks BJP for projecting Modi as OBC leader

Last Updated 27 April 2014, 15:16 IST

BSP supremo Mayawati today accused BJP of trying to "hoodwink" OBC and dalit voters by projecting Narendra Modi as a leader from a lower caste.

She also said that BJP does not respect its Brahmin leaders as it forced Murli Manohar Joshi to abandon Varanasi seat and pointed out that her party had given tickets to 21 Brahmins in Uttar Pradesh.

She also cautioned Muslims against "division in votes", saying voting for Congress or Samajwadi Party will benefit the saffron party.

"The BJP, with the help of opinion polls that it has been sponsoring, tried to spread a false perception that it was on the upswing, especially in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.

"The next step in its strategy has been to hoodwink OBCs and dalits by claiming that it has chosen a lower caste leader Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate", Mayawati said at a rally here.

"I wish to pose this question to Modi - you talk a lot of being an OBC leader. Would you care to tell the people which caste group do you belong to.

"Our Dalit and OBC friends need to beware of these antics. BJP workers may be visiting your houses these days and trying to attempt a brainwash by saying you too belong to the Hindu Samaj.

"Remember that once the elections are over and their purpose is served, they will be back to their earlier ways and refuse to treat you with due respect," the BSP supremo said.

She alleged that the BJP's withdrawal of support to the V P Singh government after L K Advani's arrest while carrying out the "Rath Yatra" in support of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was caused, in part, by the saffron party's "strong disapproval of pro-lower caste measures like implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations and awarding of Bharat Ratna to Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar".

The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister also charged the BJP with "carrying out a false propaganda that Ambedkar was anti-Muslim and so is the BSP which adheres to his philosophy.

"Muslims must beware of such designs. The BJP fears the possibility of a social alliance comprising the Dalits, the OBCs, the poor among the upper castes and the minorities which only the BSP can make possible".

She said it was Ambedkar who ensured that the Constitution declared India as a secular country.

"Our party has been in power in the state on four occasions and we have always stood by the minorities. The BJP hopes to cause a division in your votes so that some of you vote in favour Samajwadi Party and others support Congress. This would ensure an easy victory for the BJP.Do not let them succeed in their designs", she said.

She also lambasted the BJP for forcing Murli Manohar Joshi to leave Varanasi, from where he was the sitting MP, for Modi and denying a ticket to former state assembly speaker Keshri Nath Tripathi from Allahabad.

"This shows that the BJP does not respect its Brahmin leaders either. Compare their attitude with that of the BSP which has given tickets to 21 Brahmins across the state.

"The party has also been demanding reservation on economic grounds for the poor among the upper castes but the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre paid no heed to numerous letters I wrote in this regard while we were in power in UP," Mayawati said.

The BSP supremo also lashed out on Congress candidate from Allahabad Nand Gopal Gupta "Nandi", whom she had expelled from her party about a couple of months ago, saying "he will only ensure that the votes of Vaishyas are split as the BJP too has fielded a candidate from the same community.

"Vaishyas must see through this design and make an intelligent choice."

Calling Nandi "ehsan faramosh"(ungrateful), the former UP CM said she made him a cabinet minister immediately after his first electoral victory.

"When he was injured in a bomb attack in 2010, we stood by his side, ensured that he got the best possible treatment and that the culprits were hounded out and put behind the bars. I even gave him a party ticket in the 2012 assembly polls but he lost.

"For the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, there were already a large number of aspirants who had to be taken care of. Nandi could not digest this, changed his loyalties, tried his luck first with BJP and ended up being with the Congress," she said.

(Published 27 April 2014, 15:16 IST)

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