Maya kicks off campaign attacking Cong, CBI probe
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LAUNCHING her party's campaign for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, BSP president and Chief Minister Mayawati today accused the Congress of "anti-Dalit mentality", saying it was using the CBI and CAG to malign "the country's only chief minister who is a Dalit ki beti". As it attacked the two agencies, Mayawati reserved her anger for the Congress, mentioning the Samajwadi Party and BJP only in passing.
Addressing a massive rally, Mayawati said the CBI had lately become "hyperactive" in its investigation of the National Rural Health Mission scam in UP, while the Comptroller and Auditor General in its recent audit alleged financial and administrative irregularities "at the behest of their masters".
Raising the Election Commission order directing that her statues and those of the BSP symbol elephant be covered, Mayawati said: "My statues were erected to respect Kanshi Ramji's last wish. I know you are sad and angry. The only way you can reply is by ensuring the victory of maximum number of BSP candidates with big margins."
While top leaders of other parties have been criss-crossing the state for the past several weeks, the BSP had delayed the start of its campaign to make "the last big impression" on voters. So today's rally was held exactly just one week before the first phase of polls.
It was the biggest rally held by any party here, and showed the BSP's organisational muscle and the respect that the Dalits hold for Mayawati. The ground overflowed with people including, unusually for UP, a large number of women. Despite her speech lasting beyond an hour, there was enthusiastic response to every war cry of "Chad vipaksh ki chhati par, button dabao hathi par (Trample all the rivals, select the elephant)".
If the Congress was voted to power, Mayawati said, the state would see a return of the neglect of poor and weaker sections, as had happened during 40 years of the party's rule in the state. It would also mean destruction of small traders because the Congress was committed to FDI in retail, the BSP chief claimed.
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