Mayawati’s date with Delhi voters on May 3

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Smriti Kak Ramachandran

The rally will be different as this time the BSP supreme will address the people as a ‘Prime Ministerial candidate’

NEW DELHI: Aspiring Prime Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati is expected to address a rally in the Capital’s Ramlila Maidan in the first week of May. This will be the only rally that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister will address in the city in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections on May 7.

And what sets the rally apart from the previous ones, say party sources, is the fact that this time Ms. Mayawati will address the people as a “Prime Ministerial candidate”. Preparations for the rally are in “full swing” and the logistics are being worked out.

“We have already informed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi that a rally will be organised on May 3 at the Ramlila Maidan. We have also informed the Delhi Police and notified the concerned agencies,” said a party official.

Party workers are quick to point out that the mood within the cadres is upbeat and will be adequately displayed at the rally. “It is unlike the ones organised at the time of the Delhi Assembly elections. This rally is special, because Behenji will address her people as a Prime Ministerial candidate. It is an overwhelming feeling for the lower castes that after 4,000 years we have a contender for the ruler’s position who is a Dalit,” said a party leader.

More than two lakh people from across the city are expected to attend, but party sources said they do not anticipate any law and order problem. “The BSP workers and supporters are a disciplined lot. We are known for rallies that are well organised and not marked by fighting, sloganeering or any hooliganism,” he said.

The BSP is contesting from all seven Lok Sabha constituencies in the city, and party officials are confident that this time the Congress will suffer a setback.

“During the Delhi Assembly elections we ended up upsetting the Bharatiya Janata Party’s chances of winning, but this time it is the Congress that will be adversely affected. Now we are not fighting for Assembly seats; we are contesting to form the government at the Centre. With Ms. Mayawati at the helm, we expect the Dalits and the Muslims-- considered the traditional vote bank of the Congress -- to vote for the BSP,” said Rajiv Singh, a BSP leader.

The party has fielded three Muslims, one Gujjar, one Dalit and two Brahmins for the seven Lok Sabha seats. “We believe in social engineering and the choice of candidates reflects that. As for the agenda, it is something we believe in -- equal opportunity for everyone irrespective of their caste,” a party functionary said.




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