Poll-stung Maya changes tactics to win back Dalits

Poll-stung Maya changes tactics to win back Dalits

The sudden visit by the BSP supremo Mayawati to the family of the two dalit teens, who had allegedly been gang-raped and murdered in Budaon district, and threatened to embark on a dharna to ensure justice to the family, may have surprised her political opponent as it was first of its kind.

For her party leaders, however, it was a “deft political move” to win back the dalit vote bank, a section of which seemed to have deserted the BSP in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls and shifted to the BJP, at least in some parts of the state. Mayawati, whether as chief minister of UP or as an opposition leader, was seldom seen paying visits to the families, which were victims of crime in the past.

The BSP supremo, though explained that her visit was to “force” the UP government to act against the culprits.

“I have come here to make sure that the state government acts tough against the guilty and the family of the victims get justice”, Mayawati told reporters at Katara village after visiting the family. Mayawati’s threat to embark on a dharna at the village itself if justice was denied to the affected family was also something new.

“Mayawati is known for embarking on dharnas...she had never taken part in any dharna by the party in the past,” said a senior BSP leader while speaking to Deccan Herald.

The family of the teens also reposed faith in Mayawati and accepted the compensation announced by her though they had refused to accept the compensation announced by the state government.

BSP leaders in Lucknow said that Mayawati had decided to take up the issues affecting dalits in the state.

She has also directed the party leaders to visit the dalit houses, whenever they receive any report of crime against them.

The BSP supremo, whose party failed to win even a single seat in the recent lok sabha polls, had recently indicated that she had discarded the “social engineering” formula and signaled return to the “dalit-backward agenda” in an apparent bid to revive the party in the state.

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