Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Sunday appealed to north Indians in the city to put an end to the ill-treatment being meted out to them by choosing their vote carefully.
She was addressing an election rally at Shivaji Nagar here.
“People come to Mumbai from all corners of India out of compulsion to earn their bread and butter. However, they have been given a step-motherly treatment from time to time. I appeal to the north Indians, and especially to those from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, to give a fitting reply to this [injustice] by using the vote correctly.”
She blamed the Congress government for the plight of the north Indians; bringing them to the brink after being in power in Uttar Pradesh for 40 years after Independence.
Ms. Mayawati was addressing a strong crowd, which waited patiently with umbrellas under the pouring rain to hear her.
The Bahujan Samaj Party leader accused all the parties of “bribing” the poor through their manifestos to garner votes.
Suicides by farmers, price rise and unemployment were proof enough that all the sections were unhappy in Maharashtra. The Centre’s decision to waive interest did not benefit the small farmer, whose primary lender was the sahukar or zamindar, she said.
She alleged that the Centre’s economic policies were benefiting only the big industries. But, the BSP would make efforts towards eradicating inequalities and bringing about equality for all — in line with its sarvajan hitai (welfare of all) philosophy.
Referring to Mumbai’s sprawling slums, she promised their rehabilitation in a dignified manner.
The BSP leader defended the construction of statues and memorials in the name of Dalit icons Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram in Lucknow.
She alleged that the government was spreading rumours through the media that public money was being squandered on the projects.
“When the BJP and the Congress were in power, they built statues and memorials of their leaders and saints across the country. Was people’s money not spent then? Why were no court cases slapped? When we pay a tribute to our saints and gurus, endless PILs [public interest litigations] are filed. This is nothing but a result of casteist mindset,” she said.