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In Azamgarh, Mayawati seeks Dalit-Muslim unity

Supporters greet Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati at a rally in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday.  

Claiming that the BJP could “go to any extent” to capture power in Uttar Pradesh, BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday hinted that a desperate Narendra Modi government at the Centre could rake up the issue of Kashmir and terrorism and “even go to war” with Pakistan ahead of the Assembly elections.

As the BJP sensed it was losing ground in U.P., which goes to the polls in a few months, and to divert attention from its “failures and shortcomings, the NDA could go to war with Pakistan “before or even during the elections,” she said.

Balochistan issue

Addressing a massive rally in Azamgarh, in the heart of Purvanchal, Ms. Mayawati said the Modi government had failed in bringing the promised achhe din and was now trying to divert people’s attention by raking up nationalism. She made a specific reference to Mr. Modi’s Independence Day speech, where he raised the Balochistan issue.

In Azamgarh, the BSP chief sent out a strong message for both Dalits and Muslims. She said the BJP government at the Centre and States ruled by the party had displayed a casteist and anti-Dalit mentality, which led to atrocities. Accusing the BJP of fostering the RSS agenda, she said the NDA government was trying to dilute reservation and was focussed on privatisation of government projects. “Merely building memorials and museums in the name of the messiah of these people [Ambedkar] and going to their homes and eating food with them will not bring an end to social backwardness and atrocity. They just don’t want your sympathy but strong action against the guilty,” Ms. Mayawati told the crowd at the ITI ground.

Reaching out to the Muslims, who constitute 19 per cent of U.P.’s electorate, Ms Mayawati spoke of their increasing “insecurity”.

“Step-motherly treatment against Muslims has increased at all levels. The Sachar Committee report also seems to be locked up somewhere,” she said, adding that atrocities against Muslims had increased under the guise of gau raksha, love jihad, nationalism and Hindu Rashtra. She said Muslims were “viewed with suspicion in the name of terrorism.”

Lashing out at the SP government for its poor law and order, she said the incidents in Muzaffarnagar, Mathura, Dadri and Bulandshahr “cannot be forgotten.”

In SP heartland

Starting her campaign early, Ms. Mayawati’s address in Azamgarh was her second rally, after her public meeting in Agra last week. Azamgarh is not only the Lok Sabha seat of Samajwadi party supremo Mulayam Singh but also at the heart of Purvanchal.

Ms. Mayawati also attacked the Congress and its outreach to upper castes especially Brahmins, through projection of Sheila Dikshit as chief ministerial candidate and demand for reservation for upper caste poor. She dismissed Ms. Dikshit as an “aged woman”, and said that as Delhi CM, she had blamed migrants from U.P. and Bihar for littering.


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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 5:11:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/In-Azamgarh-Mayawati-seeks-Dalit-Muslim-unity/article14594754.ece

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