Says Gujarat is under Rs.1,45,000-crore public debt

Attacking Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate over Gujarat riots and claims of development in his State, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday said Narendra Modi would be disastrous to the country as prime minister and charged that all his talk of development in Gujarat was “misleading”.

If Modi becomes the Prime Minister “by mistake” then the whole country would be ruined as it would get caught in communal riots, said Ms. Mayawati, addressing a public meeting in Leisure Valley Park in Sector-29 here.

She added that both the BJP and the Congress were responsible for the ills of the country and should be stopped from returning to power.

Countering the claims of development in Gujarat, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said the State had a public debt of over Rs.1,45,000 crore and every third child there was undernourished.

She added that Mr. Modi had not allowed setting up of Lokayukta for several years putting a question mark over his claims of being incorruptible. “The BSP has worked for all sections of society during its four-time rule in Uttar Pradesh and not allowed communal harmony to be disrupted even in the most adverse conditions. You (the electorate) need to show us better results in the elections so we can play an important role at the national level.”

The BSP, which had cornered 15.75 per cent votes in the previous Lok Sabha elections, has decided to fight it out all alone on all the 10 Parliamentary constituencies of Haryana.

Claiming that terrorism and Naxalism were the products of wrong policies of those in power for the past over six decades, Ms. Mayawati said all political parties gained power with the help of big industrialists and businessmen and framed policies to suit their needs.

“Land, water and other natural resources are being handed out to the industrialists at throw-away prices and the poor are being made to run for livelihood,” she said, adding that her party had worked for the poor and the unemployed cutting across all castes and religions with special emphasis on Dalits and minorities.

Ms. Mayawati further charged that attempts were being made to take away the benefits of job reservation to the downtrodden by framing new laws and rules. Without referring to the recent Union Government decision to offer reservation to Jats in the Other Backward Class category, she said that new castes were being included to the OBC list without increasing the quota and thereby the share of the downtrodden was getting reduced.

BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra said the party was for equitable society and not opposed to upper castes. “Had the party been against to upper castes, I would have never been made the national general-secretary of the party,” said Mr. Mishra, a Brahmin, in an attempt to woo the upper castes voters.

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