Lucknow: Amid speculation about her absence on the ground, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Supremo Mayawati addressed her first public meeting for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, in Agra on February 2.
“News channels reported that I am not visible anywhere. I would like to tell everyone that I came from New Delhi to Lucknow as soon as the Covid scare subsided. I have been working constantly to strengthen the party. I reviewed the party’s functioning and party affairs in the entire state. The media built this narrative that I am absent,” she told the audience
The reason for Mayawati choosing Agra to address her first poll meeting is the BSP used to win all or majority of seats from here However, in 2017 the BJP defeated it. The BJP had brought Baby Rani Maurya to contest the election after getting her to quit the governorship. Baby Rani Maurya comes from the same Jatav sub-caste of Dalit as Mayawati.
In her speech, Mayawati soft-pedalled the BJP, but attacked the Congress severely. She also took digs at Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party while reading out her speech from written text. On the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati told her supporters: “The BJP’s policies have been guided more by the RSS and its narrow-minded approach.”
Referring to the Samajwadi Party, Mayawati said: “Remember that the Muzaffarnagar riots happened because of poor handling by the Samajwadi Party government. The Samajwadi Party government changed the names of towns which I had named after Dalit icons as a token of recognition for their great contribution towards the cause of the downtrodden.”
Mayawati’s outbursts at the Congress appear to be of the party’s star capiagner Priyanka Gandhi Vadra intensive campaign. The Congress party never cared to recognise the great contribution of B R Ambedkar towards uplift of Dalits in the country and that was the reason he was not even considered for a Bharat Ratna during its rule, she maintained.
The nine Assembly constituencies in Agra district go to polls in the first phase on February 10, along with most of western Uttar Pradesh. Two of the nine seats — Agra Rural and Agra Cantonment — are reserved constituencies.