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Mulayam Real Leader of Backwards Unlike Modi, Says Maya as Ex-rivals Share Stage After 24 Years

The SP and BSP had had broken up in 1995 after Mayawati withdrew support from the alliance government led by Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:April 19, 2019, 4:21 PM IST

As the Lok Sabha elections moved further east in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati sought to cement the Dalit-Muslim-Backward alliance of anti-BJP forces by calling Mulayam Singh Yadav a “real leader of the backward” unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi whom she dubbed a ‘fake’.

“Backward communities should once again send their real leader to Lok Sabha. Backward communities consider him their true leader. Not like Prime Minister Modi who is a fake leader of the backwards,” the BSP chief said at a rally in the SP pocket borough of Mainpuri from where Mulayam Singh Yadav is contesting elections.

Reacting to the Congress’s ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ campaign, Modi at an election meeting earlier this week had said the Opposition was branding the “entire backward community as thieves”.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and thereafter, the BJP and Modi have sought to play subtle and soft backward politics to mobilise small and minor backward communities against the dominant ones such as the Yadavs in UP and Bihar.

“Interests of the backward communities are being compromised. People have to see who their real leader is,” Mayawati said as she sought votes for friend-turned-foe-turned-friend Mulayam Singh.

This was the first joint rally by the two leaders in 24 years. The SP and BSP had broken up in 1995 after Mayawati withdrew support from the alliance government led by the SP patriarch.

After the infamous VIP guesthouse incident where the BSP chief and her MLAs were held ‘hostage’, Mayawati became the youngest UP CM with BJP support.

She referred to the guesthouse case herself, saying despite the infamous episode, she had decided to align with the SP because "sometimes, given the circumstances, some tough decisions have to be taken”.

Mayawati’s appeal from Mainpuri is also being seen as an attempt by the alliance partner to ensure smooth transfer of votes to each others’ candidates, and engineer caste compatibility among their respective social base, especially the Dalits and Yadavs.

Mayawati in her appeal to the larger backward community has also tried to reach out to smaller or minor OBC groups which have over the years broken away from both SP and BSP to galvenise around BJP.

The BSP chief tried to reduce the impact of SP’s break-away faction headed by Shivpal Yadav by asserting that “the real leader of the backward classes was Mulayam Singh Yadav who started a movement that is now being truly represented only by his political heir Akhilesh Yadav”.

After being unceremoniously ousted from SP, Shivpal Yadav founded his own party called Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia, which has formed an alliance of its own with smaller parties like Peace Party and Apna Dal.

Mayawati also said Modi’s promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh in every account, with which he won the 2014 polls and which turned out to be a "jumla", was similar to the promise that Congress had made through its NYAY scheme.

“The little financial help that Congress can give you won’t be as helpful as the help we are offering, when we form our government in the centre, of giving you jobs that will benefit you in real terms.”

Attacking Modi's 'Saraab' comment, which he made during an election speech where he compared the alliance made by RLD, SP and BSP with liquor, she said people across UP were indeed inebriated, "but not with liquor as you suggest but with a passion of throwing BJP out of the seat of power”.

Asserting again that Mulayam Singh Yadav was the true leader of the backward classes, Mayawati ended her speech as she did in Mahagathbandhan’s joint rally in Saharanpur — “Jai Bheem, Jai Lohia, Jai Bhaarat”.

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