Mayawati to campaign in Dalit-dominated areas from tomorrow

Mayawati to campaign in Dalit-dominated areas from tomorrow


BSP supremo Mayawati will hit the campaign trail in Karnataka again this weekend in three Dalit dominated seats for the JD(S)-BSP candidates, including Bidar where Congress chief Rahul Gandhi sought votes for his party on Thursday.

After her first round of campaigning for the coalition in Mysuru and Chitradurga in the last week of April, she will now visit Bidar, Kolar and Raichur on May 5 and 6. While Rahul had campaigned in Bidar on Thursday, he had visited Kolar and Raichur earlier.

The JD(S) and the BSP had entered into an electoral alliance ahead of the May 12 Karnataka Assembly polls in which the Mayawati-led party is contesting 20 seats out of the 224 seats.

“She will be campaigning in Dalit concentrated seats in these two days and it will surely have an impact on voters. She is one of the tallest leaders from Dalit community,” JD(S) Secretary General Danish Ali told DH.

JD(S) expects that BSP would add Dalit votes to the party and would benefit from it while the latter would be able to win some seats in Karnataka Assembly.

While Mayawati has attacked both the Congress and the BJP in her first campaign trail, the Congress has curiously not taken on her in Karnataka elections while it had gone hammer and tongs at JD(S) and its chief H D Deve Gowda. The Congress does not want to rub Mayawati the wrong way keeping in mind its intention to enter into an Opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh.

After 1996 when it entered into a pre-poll alliance with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, the BSP is joining such an electoral formation for the first time when it announced that it would fight alongside JD(S) in Karnataka.

With the BSP on its side, the JD(S) believes that it would be able to emerge as a kingmaker in case of a hung Assembly in Karnataka. “The combination of Vokkaligas, the votebase of the JD(S), and Dalits can counter the BJP in Old Mysuru region. The Congress should understand that. They should refrain from attacking us,” a senior JD(S) leader said.