Home INDIA & BEYOND Modi resorting to ‘despicable politics’, should disclose caste: Mayawati

Modi resorting to ‘despicable politics’, should disclose caste: Mayawati


Lucknow, May 6 :

BSP chief Mayawati Tuesday hit out at BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, accusing him of making false claims of being targeted because he was from a backward caste and resorting to “despicable” politics.

Addressing a hurriedly convened press conference in the Uttar Pradesh capital, the former chief minister referred to Modi’s statement earlier in the day that he was a target of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s “neechi rajniti” (low-level politics) comment because he hailed from a backward caste.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.

Slamming both the Congress and the Samajwadi Party for not commenting on Modi’s statement, the Bahujan Samaj Party leader said she wanted to “give a befitting reply” to the Bharatiya Janata Party leader and asked Modi to name the caste to which he belongs.

She said Modi was trying to resort to casteist politics in the absence of any real wave in his party’s favour.

“He is a representative of ‘neech aur ghinauni rajniti’ (low and despicable politics),” she said.

Mayawati said two more phases of the Lok Sabha polls are left in Uttar Pradesh and the Gujarat chief minister knows that so far the backward castes and the Dalits have not been swayed by his sweet talk.

He was hence trying to polarise the people on caste lines, she said.

“What the Congress said was that he was playing low-level politics. He tried to reap benefits out of it. He is doing despicable politics in the garb of this issue,” the BSP leader said.

Mayawati said she wanted to tell Modi that “low-level politics does not mean a particular caste”. “It means cheap kind of politics,” she said.

On Modi not disclosing his caste, she said: “This means he does not belong to backward classes. Even if we accept that he belongs to a backward class, I want to ask the BJP what it has done for the backward community.”

She also accused the BJP of being “anti-Dalit”.

Modi in his speeches Tuesday said he was born in a lower caste but has never been involved in “low-level politics”.

“They are not able to come to terms with the truth, so they (Congress) said it is politics of a lower class person. I cannot deny I am from a lower caste, but it is not a crime to be lower caste. I can assure the nation my politics is not low level,” Modi said at one of his rallies.

The comment came after Priyanka Gandhi’s remark Monday that the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate had insulted her “martyred” father Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress booth workers in Amethi will give a reply to the “low-level politics”.