Uttar Pradesh chief minister and BSP supremo Mayawati kick-started her election campaign on Wednesday with a sortie at the Congress for allegedly patronizing corruption at the highest levels and for turning a blind eye to the state’s development. The Dalit leader was addressing an election rally in Sitapur. This was the first of more than 30 election rallies that she will address across the state over the coming fortnight.
“The longest ruling party in UP has been the Congress but it has not done much for the state,” she said and added that “Unemployment and poverty rose under the Congress rule. In 40 years of Congress rule in Uttar Pradesh, they didn’t do anything to eradicate poverty forcing the people to migrate to other states where they are humiliated.”
Talking about development, she said, “The Centre is not sending funds allotted to the state for various schemes. It is due to the UPA government’s anti-Dalit mentality and political vendetta that UP is facing financial problems. The Centre never released the state’s share of revenue on time. Even the funding of Central schemes is deliberately stalled. Thousands of crores is still pending with the Centre due to which development work is affected.”
She also criticised the UPA government for playing quota politics and said that the Congress was playing the ‘divide and rule’ game by introducing minority sub-reservation in the OBC quota. In an apparent bid to throw up UP’s division as a poll issue, she said, “We have initiated the move to divide the state but the Centre has not done anything in the matter. We have passed a proposal in the Vidhan Sabha and sent it to the Centre.”