Positioning herself as a national alternative while enumerating failures of two major political formations — the UPA and the NDA — BSP supremo Mayawati on her 57th birthday steered clear of the sparks flying between India-Pakistan. She said war was not the “only option”, emphasising there was room for peaceful solution.
While slamming both, the Congress-led UPA as well as opposition BJP-led NDA formations, she asked people to rise above caste and communal bias and support her to become the next prime minister after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. BSP sources later said the party will expand to south India and pitch candidates all over to foment its position in national politics.
Celebrating her birthday in style at a five-star hotel here, she released the English and Hindi versions of her book — A travelogue of my struggle-ridden life and BSP movement, Volume 8 — not allowing any other leader to share the dais. Her enthusiastic supporters showered her with gifts and offerings at her birthday. It was announced that deputy speaker of Haryana assembly and senior BSP leader Akram Khan has gifted her a SUV and another leader has offered her Rs57,000. Even the press conference hall was decorated in BSP’s blue colour.
“The government is utilising its energies on issues other than public interest...The government has not taken a serious stand on the issue. Firing (along LoC) is now a routine affair which has claimed lives of several of our soldiers,” she said. She alleged that poor government response was also responsible for increased incidents of terrorism which has led to loss of life and property in various parts of the country. She said the BJP-led NDA has ‘disappointed’ people. “Their lack of discipline and direction has given jeevan dan (new lease of life) to the UPA government,” she said, adding that had the NDA fared better, several of UPA allies would have joined it.
Asked why the BSP was supporting the UPA government from outside, despite its ‘anti-people’ policies, Mayawati said she had already explained the reasons on an earlier occasion.
She had recently said that after three-and-a-half years, there was no point pulling the plug. She had also hoped that better sense would prevail on the government.