Amid massive defection, Mayawati calls SP an ‘anti-Dalit’ party

BSP supremo Mayawati on Saturday rejected claims that several BJP leaders have shifted their allegiance to the Samajwadi Party (SP), saying it works for Dalits and backward classes. It also made it clear that if his party comes to power, it will not contest the assembly elections, but will take the route of the Legislative Council.

Addressing a press conference on his birthday, he announced the names of 53 BSP candidates for the constituencies that will go to polls in the first phase on February 10. “The past record of the SP shows that it has always taken an anti-Dalit stand,” Mayawati said. He sought to know why the Akhilesh Yadav-led party changed the name of Sant Ravidas Nagar to Bhadohi soon after assuming power in 2012. “Was it not because of his anti-Dalit thinking,” he asked.

Citing another example, he alleged that the SP has torn up a bill introduced to ensure promotion of Dalits in government services. “The bill is pending… doesn’t it reflect its anti-Dalit stand?” The BSP chief’s remarks came a day after former cabinet minister and prominent OBC leader Swami Prasad Maurya joined the SP along with another rebel minister Dharam Singh Saini. A large number of MLAs from the BJP and Apna Dal (Sonelal) also joined the SP and alleged that the Yogi Adityanath government has neglected the interests of Dalits and backward classes.

He also leveled similar allegations against Mayawati. With many such defections, including a large number of legislators from her own party, Mayawati insisted on strengthening the anti-defection laws.

In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, 13 of the 19 MLAs who won on BSP tickets have left the party. “Considering how some greedy politicians switch parties during elections, it is necessary to strengthen the anti-defection laws as such practices adversely affect democracy,” he said. On her possible candidature, Mayawati said, “Efforts are being made to leave the impression that I am not going to contest elections. I have been a Lok Sabha MP four times, Rajya Sabha MP three times and MLA and MLC on two occasions. When. Till BSP founder Kanshi Ram was fit, he handled all election matters and I used to contest elections. However, after his death, the responsibility of the party fell on me.” Mayawati was the MLC when she headed the BSP government in the state in 2007.

Laughing at the remarks that her party was thrown out of the race, Mayawati said the BSP would create a surprise like in 2007. Mayawati continued her campaign against the SP rule from 2012-17, saying it benefited from the Muslim vote but substantially deprived the community. Representation in government as well as distribution of tickets. He also alleged that communal riots were regular during the SP rule.

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