This Week In UP: Amit Shah Talking About BSP's Strength; Here's Mayawati's Response
An unusual exchange was one of the lesser-talked-about stories from Uttar Pradesh this week.
After the completion of four phases of the ongoing UP 2022 Assembly elections, all the political parties are employing their full strength in the remaining three phases. While on one hand, political leaders are making scathing attacks at their opponents, Home Minister Amit Shah and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati’s mutual praise for each other has surprised many.
On Wednesday, as BSP chief Mayawati cast her vote at the Children’s Palace Municipal Nursery School polling booth in Lucknow during the fourth phase of the UP Assembly elections, she interacted with the media. When asked about Amit Shah’s praise of the BSP’s campaign, Mayawati said, “Yeh unka badappan hai ki unhone zameeni sacchai ko sweekar kiya” (It is his wisdom that he accepted the ground reality).
However, Mayawati further claimed that in the three phases which had taken place so far in UP, BSP has not only got Dalit and Muslim votes, but also the votes from all sections of the society, including the “savarna” (upper castes) and the backward caste votes as well.
Earlier, Amit Shah, in a television interview, had said that Mayawati still has a stronghold on the ground and she will get Jatav votes as well as Muslim votes in huge number. "The BSP has maintained its relevance. I believe it will get votes. I don't know how much of it will convert into seats but it will get votes," he had said. Shah further said that Mayawati’s lowkey campaign did not mean that she has lost her core support base.
Mayawati claims full majority for the BSP
On the question of the BJP’s claim of winning over 300 seats, she said “All opposition leaders are making different claims of their victory, but only time will tell how much weight does these claims hold. Who knows, the BSP may become the winner instead of the BJP or the SP.”
"The voters of UP have already rejected the Samajwadi Party as they know that whenever that party has come to power, there has been goonda raj," said Mayawati, while attacking the SP. She also noted that the Muslim voters are antagonized with the SP, and said Akhilesh Yadav’s claim of making forays into her core Jatav vote bank is a “distant dream”. She advised the SP chief to ensure that he gets the votes of his own caste first.
"When the results are declared on March 10, the BSP will form its government like it did in 2007 with full majority," Mayawati told reporters after casting her vote.
BJP trying to make the contest look triangular
Many political experts are of the view that the BJP is trying to make the contest look triangular so that the anti-BJP parties can be divided, thereby mitigating the risks of a bipolar contest.
Given that the BSP and the Congress are being considered quite weak this time, it is being said that the majority of Muslim votes are going towards the SP. Added to this, many Jatav voters might also look for an alternative other than the BSP. In such a situation, the BJP, with Amit Shah’s statement that the BSP will also get Muslim votes in huge numbers, is perhaps trying to sway a certain section of the Dalit and Muslim voters away from the SP.
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