BSP fields 97 Muslim candidates
- June Ramsey
A problem that Ms Mayawati may face in winning over Muslims is the fact that she formed government in UP in alliance with the BJP thrice.
Her ticket distribution to Dalit community, however, remained stable. "The names will be released after the announcement of poll schedule by the Election Commission (EC)".
Stressing that her party was poised to form the next government in UP, she flayed the Prime Minister for not making a mention of the ongoing tussle in the ruling Samajwadi Party in his speech and said that voting for Congress or SP will only benefit BJP in the coming elections. In reply to a question about the Supreme Court banning the use of caste or religion to seek votes, she said she welcomed the apex court's decision.
Hyderabad University scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide and the Una Dalit flogging helped her consolidate the Dalit vote bank, quickly casting the BJP as "anti-Dalit". The party has chosen 36 "Kshatriya" candidates, three more than last time, and 11 candidates belong to "Kayastha, Vaishya and Punjabi" castes.
BSP president Mayawati's new social engineering formula that forges a dalit-Muslim combine was evident on Tuesday when the party announced a maximum of 97 tickets to Muslims and 87 to dalits. "In such a situation, the Muslims should not support the SP", the BSP supremo said. As far as the upper caste is concerned, Mayawati preferred Brahmins over the Thakurs and gave them 66 tickets.
Upper caste and backward candidates have been given a large share of the seats to counter the BJP's onslaught.
"These is a false impression given out by other parties that the BSP is caste-centric and other (upper) castes do not vote for it", she told mediapersons.