Home INDIA & BEYOND BSP also wants quota for poor upper castes, says Mayawati

BSP also wants quota for poor upper castes, says Mayawati


Jammu, April 1 :

BSP chief Mayawati Tuesday sought to reach out to poor people of the upper castes, asserting her party would also fight for reservations in education and government jobs to economically under-privileged members of the community in the country.Chief Minister, Uttar PradeshAge: 51The feisty and single Kumari is the first untouchable, or Dalit, woman to become the head of an Indian state, and this is her fourth term in office. She was mentored by the crafty Kanshi Ram, who founded and headed the Bahujan Samaj Party in India's largest and most politically influential state, Uttar Pradesh, which is also among the poorest. Mayawati has modernized along the way. She now sports a short haircut, wears big diamond studs in her ears and nose, and attracted unwanted attention for her extravagant 47th birthday party in 2003, which featured 100,000 sweet cakes, 5,000 bouquets of flowers, and a 50kg birthday cake. She has also often been accused of grand corruption: Last year she tried to sell the land around the famous Taj Mahal to set up tourism and pocket the proceeds. New Delhi slapped corruption charges on her that she is still fighting. In June, she declared assets worth $13 million, 400% more than at the time of the 2004 elections.

Attacking Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, she said: “This time without announcing their prime ministerial candidate, the Congress is fighting the elections to crown their yuvraj and the BJP has named such a person as the prime ministerial candidate whose government, in 2002, engulfed the entire state of Gujarat in the communal fires those where started at Godhra.

“If he wins the elections by accident, the entire country would be destroyed by communal fires,” she said.

Addressing a Bahujan Samaj Party election rally at the mini stadium here, Mayawati said because of the growing unemployment, the condition of the poor people belonging to upper castes in the country is also miserable.

“The benefits of reservation should be extended to such people. Nothing has been done against corruption in the country and black money is still lodged in foreign banks.

“I am told in Jammu and Kashmir, excesses are being committed against already downtrodden people. I have learnt that even the local police do not register your complaints, but instead makes the complainants their targets.

“The number of lower caste votes is very large in Jammu and Kashmir. Give us power through your vote and I promise nobody can target you after that,” she said.

Targetting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his Samajwadi Party, the BSP chief said: “Because there is no BSP government in UP, I know people are now repenting there. Crime has grown in UP and the government there is doing nothing to check its spread.”

The BSP has fielded candidates from the Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha seats in the state.