Monday, February 20, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Mayawati says BSP will return to power with clear majority

Posted: Mon, Feb 20 2012. 11:34 PM IST

Mayawati says BSP will return to power with clear majority

Rejects accusations of corruption made by Rahul Gandhi; says her
policies empowered various groups
A Staff Writer

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati said her Bahujan
Samaj Party would return to power with a clear majority in an
interview with the Al Jazeera English television channel.

She derided the challenge posed by Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party
and dismissed reports that there wouldn't be a clear verdict in the
ongoing state polls, saying that a hung House had also been predicted
in the elections of 2007 that she won.

Hoping for a comeback: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati. Photo: AP

Hoping for a comeback: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati. Photo: AP

Mayawati said that a political conspiracy aimed at destabilizing the
country's biggest state would fail as the people would reject such
moves. "The state, which has had a history of instability, is being
sought to be destabilized again for political motives," she said.

Elections are being held in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh to determine
who will rule India's most politically crucial state.

Key rivals of Mayawati's ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) include
Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP), the Congress and the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Uttar Pradesh has had 40 chief ministers since India's independence in
1947, the most in the history of India's states. It also chooses the
largest number of members of Parliament among the states.

Mayawati dismissed the challenge of the Congress party led by general
secretary Gandhi, saying that his campaign was with an eye solely on
the 2014 general elections.

"For the Gandhi family, the UP elections have always been a big
picnic. Brother-sister-mother, and now even brother-in-law, come for
outings, sometimes with foreign friends," Mayawati said in the
interview with the channel.

Gandhi has been campaigning vigorously in the state in a bid to revive
the party's fortunes in the state. His mother and Congress party chief
Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka have also been seeking support from
voters. Brother-in-law Robert Vadra, who has hitherto stayed away from
politics in public, has also put in an appearance.

Mayawati said people would vote for her as she had fulfilled promises
made in the 2007 elections, adding that law and order had been
restored after an alleged reign of terror under the previous
administration headed by the Samajwadi Party.

"People voted for us in the hope that we will get rid of goonda raj,"
she said in the Al Jazeera interview. "The criminals of the Samajwadi
Party had made life difficult for the people of this state. For the
last five years we have changed that. We have given a government where
people feel safe and the criminal is scared."

She rejected accusations of corruption made by Rahul Gandhi against
the BSP, saying that it was the rival party that was guilty of
siphoning off public money.

Mayawati said her policies had empowered various groups. "We have
given Dalits a life of dignity and Brahmins, who were exploited by
Congress and BJP alike, were given their due by BSP."

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