Mayawati launches 2014 campaign; targets SP, Congress1 min read . Updated: 15 Jan 2014, 03:01 PM IST
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister held a rally in Lucknow where she sought to reach out to Muslim voters
New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati launched her campaign for the coming general election with a rally on Wednesday in Lucknow where she sought to reach out to Muslim voters.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s rally coincided with her birthday, which she kept a low-key affair in order to signal her party’s empathy for the mainly-Muslim victims of last year’s Muzaffarnagar riots.
This was in contrast to the ruling Samajwadi Party’s (SP) recent unabashed celebration in Saifai, the constituency of its supremo Mulayam Singh.
Some 60 people were killed and thousands were made homeless by religious violence that swept Muzaffarnagar in Western Uttar Pradesh in August-September.
Mayawati criticized the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for failing to impose president’s Rule in Uttar Pradesh—something that she said would have given justice to Muzaffarnagar victims.
She also claimed the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had misused the Central Bureau of Investigation against her in the 2003 Taj corridor case, involving alleged irregularities in a project to upgrade tourist facilities in Agra, when the party threatened to withdraw support to the BSP-led coalition government in the state.
She asked voters in the general election to prepare for a “direct fight" against the the SP, Congress and the BJP—three parties that she claimed had united against the BSP at the 2009 general election and 2012 Uttar Pradesh assembly election because she is a Dalit.
Her remarks about Muzaffarnagar victims were seen as an attempt to broaden her mainly Dalit support base.