‘Modi should have contested from Amethi as he is PM candidate’

Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party for claiming that the turnout at Narendra Modi’s road show ahead of his nomination in Varanasi on Thursday was a massive show of support by the locals, the Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said on Friday that the majority of the people were outsiders. “They were not from Banaras, yet were described as local people by the BJP,” Ms. Mayawati said.

The publicity for the road show was designed to benefit the BJP in Purvanchal (eastern Uttar Pradesh), Ms. Mayawati said. However, the party would not succeed in its game plan as the people were wise enough to understand these ploys.

Ms. Mayawati said the wide coverage given to Mr. Modi’s nomination on a day when the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections was underway did not augur well for democracy. “The Election Commission should take suo motu cognisance and evolve strict measures. Otherwise, power at the Centre and in the States would remain in the hands of the wrong parties, which would not be in the best interest of the public,” the BSP president told journalists at her residence here.

She rejected claims that the increased voting percentage in the first three phases of the Lok Sabha elections indicated a mood in favour of the BJP. She attributed the high polling to the awareness among the people of the wrong policies pursued by the BJP and the Congress.

She said the “use of the media” by the BJP for claiming the existence of a “wave” was divorced from ground reality. In fact, it was being said that money had been pumped in by “several big industrialists and business houses” to create the “wave” through the media. She claimed that the help of astrologers was also being sought for creating the “wave” and alleged that the party had spent huge amounts on them.

Taking a dig at Mr. Modi, Ms. Mayawati said he ought to have contested from Amethi instead of Varanasi, especially “when the BJP and the Congress were locked in a combat to form the next government at the Centre and Rahul Gandhi and Mr. Modi were their prime ministerial candidates.”

Communalising tactic

The Samajwadi Party and the BJP were hand in glove and may try to ignite trouble in Varanasi, she alleged. SP president Mulayam Singh’s decision to contest from Azamgarh was the outcome of a well-thought-out strategy and was an indicator of an SP-BJP understanding for giving a communal colour to the elections. She said Mr. Singh could never become the Prime Minister.

She urged the Election Commission to step up security measures in Purvanchal, particularly Varanasi which was home to famous temples, mosques and gurudwaras.