Slamming Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his recent remark, BSP chief Mayawati Saturday said her own party wanted both Ali and Bajrang Bali -- particularly Bajrang Bali as the deity is "linked with my own Dalit caste". Mayawati recalled Adityanath's comment in which he referred to her earlier appeal to Muslims to vote for the opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh.
Apparently referring to Muslims and Hindus, Adityanath had said if Ali is with the opposition, the Bajrang Bali is with the BJP. "In this connection, I want to tell him that both Ali and Bajrang Bali are ours,” she said at the joint opposition rally she addressed here along with Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav.
“So we want Ali as well as Bajrang Bali," she said. "We particularly want Bajrang Bali because he is linked to my own Dalit caste." Last year Adityanath had described Bajrang Bali or Lord Hanuman as a forest dweller and a Dalit, provoking controversy.
"I am very thankful to Yogi ji that he has given us important information about our ancestors,” the Bahujan Samaj Party leader said. “So it is a very happy moment to note that we have both Ali and Bajrang Bali, and their coming together will give us very good results in these elections," she said.
"In the Lok Sabha election in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi's party will get the votes of neither Ali nor Bajrang Bali, who is associated with my caste," she said. Earlier this week, the Election Commission served a notice to Mayawati over her appeal for votes to Muslims and sent Adityanath one for his “Ali-Bajrang Bali” comment.
"In these elections, the `Namo Namo’ people are going out of power and the Jai Bhim ones are coming, which is also the need of the country," Mayawati said. NaMo is a Hindi acronym for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and `Jai Bhim’ is the slogan used by followers of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar.
The BSP supremo said the Dalits have long left the Congress and the BJP. Akhilesh Yadav accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of creating a “gulf of hatred” in the country.
“The BJP wants to divide society to gain power in the manner in which the British divided us," he said. Yadav said he did not need to give a certificate of the work done by him when he was chief minister, claiming there has been development when the SP or the BSP has run the state.
"The BJP says the borders are safe as it is their government at the Centre, but I want to tell them that the borders and the country are safe because of our brave soldiers,” he said. “Governments keep coming and going but the jawans posted at the borders keep the country safe," the SP leader added.
The BSP, the SP and the Rashtriya Lok Dal have forged an alliance for the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. The meeting at Badaun was the second joint rally held by the alliance, after the one in Saharanpur’s Deoband where Mayawati urged Muslims not to let their vote split.
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