Lucknow : After resigning as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Mayawati Wednesday blamed the rout of her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and mass Muslim voting for the Samajwadi Party.
Sounding as combative as ever, Mayawati also warned at a news conference here that the people of Uttar Pradesh will soon regret voting for what she said was the “SP culture” of thuggery.
“The people of UP will soon get fed up… When that happens, they will remember our governance.”
The BSP suffered stunning reverses in the assembly elections, winning just 80 seats compared to the 206 in 2007.
Mayawati said the Congress promise during the campaign to reserve extra jobs for Muslims and the reaction of the Bharatiya Janata Party against it caused a Hindu-Muslim polarisation that destroyed the BSP.
An aggressive BJP frightened the Muslims, 70 percent of whom voted for the Samajwadi Party because they saw the Congress as a weak party, she said, trying to explain reasons for her party’s debacle.
“Once the Congress promised job quotas for OBC (other backward classes) Muslims, the BJP bitterly opposed it. Not only this, the BJP tried to lure both upper castes and OBCs towards it.
“Because of this Muslims feared that the BJP might return to power… Almost 70 percent of them voted for the Samajwadi Party. This is the chief reason we suffered very badly.”
She added: “In such a situation, Samajwadi Party’s Muslim candidates won easily from Muslim areas.”
The Congress-BJP spat over Muslims job quotas helped the Samajwadi Party, she said. “These two parties are responsible for the SP victory.”
Mayawati did not spare journalists either, for allegedly overplaying the story of Muslim reservation.
“When people regret voting for SP, they will not only curse the Congress and BJP, they will curse the media too.”
The BSP leader declined to accept that corruption charges against her regime also turned the voters against the BSP.
“If there was anger against my government, I would not have got 80 seats. I would have become a Lalu Prasad.”
Mayawati declared that her Dalit base remained intact. “They solidly voted for BSP candidates. This is why we finished second, otherwise we would have sunk very badly.”
The Samajwadi Party, dumped by the electorate five years ago, is set to take power in Uttar Pradesh after winning a staggering 224 of 403 seats in the assembly.
Before meeting the media, Mayawati met Governor B.L. Joshi, submitted her resignation and asked him to dissolve the assembly.