The BJP on Monday reacted sharply to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati’s demand of banning the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Slamming the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister for demanding the ban, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Laxmikant Bajpai said: “Mayawati is rattled at the prospects of her party being reduced to being an also-ran in Uttar Pradesh. Hence she is making such wild demands.”
Mr. Bajpai dared the Dalit leader to pressurise the UPA government at the centre to ban the RSS and the VHP and said that if that does not happen, Ms. Mayawati should withdraw her support to the UPA.
He added that Ms. Mayawati should “remember that she became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh at the behest of the BJP and the blessings of the RSS.”
The BJP leader said that Ms. Mayawati was making such demands to polarise the Muslim vote in her favour. “While they call us communal, all parties, including the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BSP are vying with each other to net the minority vote,” Mr. Bajpai told IANS.
The VHP alleged that Ms. Mayawati was demanding a ban on the RSS, Bajrang Dal and the VHP to please fundamentalists in her vote bank among minorities. VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma said: “She does not want to see the good work we have done. She is only concerned about getting minority votes.”
Ms. Mayawati had on Sunday demanded that the central government ban the VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal. She had said that the Allahabad High Court’s decision to ban caste rallies in Uttar Pradesh would be respected, but her party would hold such caste-based rallies under the banner of ‘Sarva Samaj Sadbhawna.’