Mayawati Wants Reservations For Upper Castes

Mayawati Wants Reservations For Upper Castes
Wooing Brahmins ahead of the Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Mayawati today supported reservation for the poor and unemployed among upper castes.

Despite upper castes remaining at the helm for several years, most Brahmins, barring a few, had remained backward, economically and in other areas, and faced problems of poverty and unemployment, she told a 'Brahmin Bhaichara Sammelan' here.

"This is the main reason why poor and unemployed people among the upper castes have been demanding reservation on economic basis in the sphere of education and government jobs.

"The BSP fully supports this," Mayawati said adding she had written letters to the Prime Minister several times in this regard.

The Sammelan was organised by the BSP as a show of strength for the community which had played an important role in party's success in the 2007 assembly election.

An idol of Elephant God Ganesh was displayed prominently on the stage. Elephant is the symbol of the BSP.

The Chief Minister said she had given due representation to Brahmins in her government and gave them important responsibilities.

She also took the opportunity to remove misconceptions among the Brahmins that only a few of them and their close relatives had benefited during her rule.

Mayawati said Brahmins and upper castes had embraced the BSP ideology before the last Vidhan Sabha election as they were neglected by the previous governments.

Mayawati said the relatives of senior leaders like Satish Chandra Misra, Ramvir Upadhaya and others were given important posts for their dedication to the party and as per "our strategy in the interest of the BSP and its government".

She warned Brahmins against what she said attempts of opposition parties to weaken the ruling BSP by offering them allurements and false promises before the election.

"With election round the corner, opposition parties may make efforts to woo Brahmins with allurements to wean them away from the BSP to serve their political interests.

"They can also propagate that I being a Dalit Chief Minister have given more importance to my own caste which is totally false and far from truth," Mayawati said.

She said said she had come to know from certain sources that the Opposition, especially the Congress and the BJP had planned to install Digvijay Singh and Rajnath Singh respectively as Chief Ministers in the event of these parties forming the government in the state.

Mayawati said she apprehended after her making their plan public, these two parties might project some Brahmin as Chief Minister.

"If Brahmins get misguided by such designs they will not achieve much as feudal powers will once again exploit innocent people," she warned.

The Brahmin face of the party, Satish Chandra Misra, described Mayawati as "kanoon aur nyay ki devi" (the Goddess of Law and Justice) and promised unflinching support of Brahmins to her.

Opposition parties charged Mayawati with pitting castes against one another saying this would create a chasm in society.

The parties were reacting to Mayawati's utterances at a Brahmin gathering in the city.

Taking strong exception to her remarks that the Congress and the BJP had planned to install Digvijay Singh and Rajnath Singh as the Chief Minister, they said "it is a move to pit one caste against another."

UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi said when all sections of society wanted to move ahead on the path of development, "Mayawati is not able to overcome her casteist mentality."

By publicly mentioning how many of Satish Chandra Misra's relatives had been given responsible positions, Mayawati had only humiliated him and should apologise to Brahmins, she said.

Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said her remarks would create chasm in society and were unbecoming of a person occupying a responsible post.

BJP's Hriday Narain Dixit said Mayawati was trying to create fear of one community against the other.

If she was so concerned about Brahmins, she should project a Brahmin of her party as either the Chief Minister or the Deputy Chief Minister, he said.

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh took a dig at Mayawati reported statement that his party was thinking of making him the CM if it achieved power in Uttar Pradesh.

"I am amused by Mayawati's utterances. She does not seem to be aware of the basic constitutional provisions. One can never become a state's Chief Minister if he is not a voter there. And my name is registered in the electoral rolls of Madhya Pradesh and not UP," Singh, who was in Allahabad to supervise preparations for Rahul Gandhi's rally, told reporters.

"Mayawati's statement makes it clear that she is totally ignorant about constitutional provisions and that she is in a state of panic over Rahul's rally, which will be the beginning of not just the Congress campaign for UP assembly polls...," Singh said.

"The state's voters have for long been snared into the politics of caste and religion and this has left UP in a mess. The people are not going to take it any longer and tomorrow's rally is going to be an assertion of this public sentiment," he added.
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