The Central Push
How Mayawati is wooing Muslims
- Like Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu and Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Mayawati, 58, sees windfall benefits from a superior showing in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 general elections.
- Hopes to cash in on disillusionment of Muslims with the Samajwadi Party in the aftermath of the Muzaffarnagar riots, in which over 50 (mostly Muslims) adults died; 34 children died in the relief camps.
- With the Congress again late, Behenji is bending over backwards to woo the Muslims. Her message to them at the Lucknow rally: “If you vote for us, you’ll contribute towards weakening the BJP.”
- Has handpicked Muslim candidates for eight Lok Sabha constituencies in and around Muzaffarnagar in western UP, (incidentally, the region from where she first stood for the LS polls, in 1984).
- Despite the traditional Dalit-Muslim antipathy, she is working on a revised strategy to incorporate them along with Brahmins under BSP umbrella. Brahmins got lion’s share of seats in first LS list.