With a mammoth turnout at the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan in Lucknow braving the extreme cold on her 58th birthday, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati set the pace by announcing to go it alone in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election and scotched speculations of a poll alliance with the Congress in particular and other parties, including the BJP in general. In fact, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister slammed the Congress, BJP and the Samajwadi Party of conspiring against her and the BSP.

Ms. Mayawati unveiled her national ambitions too when she exhorted the BSP workers to brace for a “direct fight” with the political parties whose basic approach was casteist and who did not want a “a Dalit ki ladki” (a Dalit girl ) to reach the pinnacle of power. Laying emphasis on expanding the BSP’s support base, Ms. Mayawati stressed on mobilizing the Dalits, OBCs, Muslims, other religious minorities and the poor among the Upper Castes for the party’s cause by focusing on the “brotherhood” of “sarv samaj” (all sections). ). “ It should be ensured that the BSP emerges as a important centre of power”, the BSP president said as she kicked off her party’s campaign for the Lok Sabha election at the “Rashtriya Savdhan Vishaal Maharally” at Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan here on Wednesday.

Even as the BSP president laid stress on the expansion of the party’s core base in view of the Lok Sabha election, Ms. Mayawati also set her sights on the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Aware of the rapidly sliding graph of the Samajwadi Party Government, the BSP supremo said it is necessary to oust the SP from power.

Stating that U.P. under the present regime has become a “crime Pradesh”, Ms. Mayawati slammed the SP Government for the plight of the Muzaffarnagar and Shamli riot victims. “The UPA Government should have imposed President’s rule in UP". She said excesses on the Muslims would not end despite Muslims being made the Chief Secretary and the DGP. Ms. Mayawai said no atrocities were committed against the Muslims in the BSP rule.

Mighty pleased with the huge turnout, which clearly showed off her strength, Ms. Mayawati spoke for two hours as she elaborated on the BSP’s strategy for the poll and launched a frontal attack on the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi was reminded of the post-Godhra communal violence in Gujarat. “Godhra riots had jolted the country” Ms. Mayawati said as she took on the Gujarat Chief Minister on his failure to forge Hindu-Muslim unity in his State.

Accusing the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for making only promises to the people, Ms. Mayawati remarked “jo baadal garajte hain baraste nahin hain” ( those who make promises do not fulfil them). Taking a dig at the Gujarat CM, she said he had left behind the Congress and other parties in making big promises to the people in view of the Lok Sabha election. Despite Mr. Modi’s claim of adopting the Gujarat pattern of development in the rest of the country, the CAG report has given a adverse picture about development in that State, Ms. Mayawati added. The BSP chief also attacked Mr. Modi for devaluing the office of Lok Ayukta.

The BSP chief was dismissive of the Aam Aadmi Party Government’s public welfare measures in Delhi and assailed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the “janata darbar” which was dubbed as “naatak baazi” (drama). Playing the Dalit card, the former Chief Minister said had the Dalits, OBCs and deprived sections been living as “aam aadmi”, a separate party (read BSP) would not have been formed. She said in Mr. Kejriwal’s home State, Haryana, Dalits have been forced to migrate for jobs. Ms. Mayawati downplayed the inclusion of a Dalit (Rakhi Birla) in the Kejriwal Ministry.